A group of City Council members want to see commuters sailing the Hudson River after the West Side was left out of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s five-borough ferry plan.
The lawmakers from the West Side and upper Manhattan want a ferry route from the tip of lower Manhattan up to the Dyckman Street marina, with stops on the West Harlem Piers off 125th Street, 39th Street and 178th Street at the George Washington Bridge.
“I see potential on building the ferry services along the West Side from northern Manhattan and Inwood all the way down to Wall Street, so that we can provide another option of transportation to hundreds of thousands of people that usually rely on the 1 and A train and the buses,” said Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who will announce the proposed route at a conference for the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, a pro-ferry group, Thursday morning.
Mayor Bill de Blasio in February announced plans for six new ferry routes to and from Wall Street by 2018, costing up to $20 million a year, to expand transit options in each borough. The mayor had said a ride will cost as much as a MetroCard swipe. The routes are planned to link Astoria, the Rockaways, South Brooklyn, Soundview, the Lower East Side, and possibly Stapleton, Staten Island, to Wall Street.
“We look forward to exploring opportunities for further additions in the future as we work to implement an equitable ferry service that benefits riders throughout the city,” said Ian Fried, a spokesman for the New York City Economic Development Corp.
The lawmakers — Rodriguez, chair of the Council’s transportation committee, and Council members Mark Levine, Helen Rosenthal and Corey Johnson — want the west side on board.
Rodriguez said he has allocated $500,000 to build the docks necessary for a ferry at the Dyckman Street marina and is seeking more funds. Ferry infrastructure exists at 39th Street, but the 125th and 178th street piers will need work to bring boats there, according to a draft letter to the city EDC that the lawmakers signed.
“There are sites up and down the Hudson that had ferry service in the past,” Levine said. “It wouldn’t take massive investments to bring ferry service back to the west side.”