All aboard to Bay Ridge.
In an effort to “right a wrong” of the mayor’s planned Citywide Ferry service, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo has pitched a new fast ferry connection to areas of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The city should add St. George to an already planned fast ferry route, known as “South Brooklyn,” launching this year that will make stops in Bay Ridge, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook and DUMBO as well as Manhattan’s Pier 11 at Wall Street, according to a letter Oddo had penned last month to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.
“We were inexplicably left out of Phase 1 of the Five-Borough Ferry Plan, and now is time correct that oversight,” said Oddo in a statement, noting that the city has not yet solidified a route for Staten Island. “Adding Staten Island to the Brooklyn to Manhattan route would help in so many different ways that it really is a no-brainer. I look forward to discussing this proposal, along with some of my other ideas, with Deputy Mayor Glen.”
Oddo said he believes the New York City Economic Development Corporation could make use of a dock to be built by the developers of the Empire Outlets and New York Wheel. Though this stop would be directly adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry, it “offers a unique opportunity to reconnect the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island far more efficient, and far less expensive, than driving over the Verrazano Bridge,” Oddo wrote in his letter.
The city had originally considered bringing a fast ferry stop to the north shore’s Stapleton neighborhood, which would have connected the borough directly to Coney Island in one direction and Manhattan in the other. But the proposal had left local officials, including Oddo, scratching their heads; residents of the south shore, who face some of the longest commutes in the country, needed transit relief, they argued.
Oddo had advocated for getting service for the south shore in the past, but the city had stated that the low-density areas of the borough could pose ridership problems.
“We are rapidly moving toward an on-time launch this June of the first phase of the Citywide Ferry service,” said Melissa Grace, a mayoral spokeswoman. “We are proud of this, and simultaneously evaluating the feasibility of future service expansions—including to Staten Island.”