City Council members and other officials called Wednesday on Mayor Bill de Blasio to add Hudson River service into his new ferry plan that launches in 2017.
The mayor’s Citywide Ferry Service proposal would add five ferry lines to the city’s transit network, but none use the Hudson River. Officials want a Hudson River service that connects neighborhoods in the city, and could also be expanded to New Jersey down the road if there is significant demand.
The new planned routes include connections between Astoria and Roosevelt Island with East Midtown and Wall Street, southern Brooklyn neighborhoods like Bay Ridge and Sunset Park with Wall Street, and the Rockaways near Beach 108th Street with Wall Street. The South Brooklyn, Astoria, and Rockaway lines will open in 2017, with boat fares costing the price of a subway trip, at $2.75.
“New Yorkers, along the West Side, up to Riverdale, need this service as well,” said Upper Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodrgiuez, who chairs the transportation committee. “The inclusion of ferry service along Manhattan’s Hudson River waterfront is paramount. If in the future, stops in New Jersey make this service more viable and useful to New Yorkers, we will be open to those discussions, but this is a secondary concern.”
Officials and groups that back the plan include Councilman Mark Levine, whose district includes Morningside Heights and Harlem, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and the Waterfront Alliance.
They say crowded subway service on the West Side and new construction like the massive Hudson Yard development show ferry service is needed.
The Mayor’s Office did not immediately comment on the idea.
Existing ferry service on the Hudson River is currently private. NY Waterway has many commuter routes between Manhattan and New Jersey, connecting towns and cities like Weehawken and Hoboken.
The Liberty Landing Ferry Service also runs regularly between Jersey City and the World Financial Center Terminal.