The city’s planned Bronx ferry service will be sailing by an important transfer point, according to a Manhattan councilman.
City Councilman Daniel Garodnick has called on the Economic Development Corporation, which oversees NYC Ferry operations, to add a 34th Street stop to its Soundview ferry route before its planned launch in summer 2018.
“We don’t want to miss an opportunity here to create the best possible connectivity in this system,” said Garodnick, who represents a large swath of Midtown East. “The Soundview route bypasses a prime connector spot which links not only to other ferry routes but the M34 bus and most subways serving the whole city.”
The Soundview route, as mapped, currently features stops at Clason Point in the Bronx, East 90th Street, East 62nd Street and Wall Street/Pier 11.
Garodnick requested the additional stop at East 34th Street in an Aug. 2 letter to the EDC. By adding the stop and opening more transfer opportunities, Bronx commuters could save 23 minutes in commuting to Astoria or Long Island City in Queens and 22 minutes to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, he said.
“At a time when our transit system is in desperate need of improvements, we need more connectivity, not less,” Garodnick wrote in the letter.
The EDC is exploring the option.
“We thank the councilmember for his suggestion for the Soundview route,” an EDC spokeswoman said in email. “We will look into this further and get back to him as we get closer to the launch of the 2018 routes.”
NYC Ferry is preparing to launch three more routes over the course of the next year. An Astoria route is on tap to begin on Aug. 29. In addition to Soundview, a Lower East Side route is pegged for next summer.
After launching this spring, NYC Ferry service has grappled with an unexpected demand and capacity-related delays. Summer weekends have proven especially challenging — with boats at capacity, riders have been turned away at docks. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that demand-related issues are “a good problem to have” as NYC Ferry gains its footing, and Garodnick agrees.
“It has had growing pains but it has enormous opportunity,” Garodnick said. “We have not before made full use of our waterways. We can do so here with great connections to existing transit.”