Subject: NYC Council Transportation Update
From: Christine Quinn
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 15:53:35 -0400


May 10, 2007



Joseph Tiraco

P.O. Box 412
Forest Hills, NY 11375-0412


Dear Mr. Tiraco,


On April 24, 2007, the New York City Council’s Transportation Committee held an oversight hearing on improving transportation options in Southeastern Queens. Many local community groups and leaders came out that evening and spoke compellingly about the ever-increasing need for better transportation alternatives in their neighborhoods.


At that hearing, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that they were going to explore the possibility of a ferry service from the Rockaways to Manhattan.


Upon hearing of DOT’s interest in exploring ferry service, the Council committed then and there to working with the Mayor’s office to turn that possibility into a reality by securing funds in this year’s budget. In the following days, we did just that.


Earlier this week, the Council and the Mayor announced that the City will commit funds for year-round ferry service from the Rockaways to Manhattan. We have secured the necessary funding and support for a two-year pilot program, and in the coming days will be taking the first steps in identifying potential providers for the ferry service, with the goal of ultimately choosing one company and establishing the service.


This service will include at least two daily departures from the Rockaways to Lower Manhattan during the morning commute, and two daily departures from Lower Manhattan during the evening commute.


We anticipate a strong demand for the ferry and expect that the pilot program will be successful enough to become permanent.


The Queens community has been organizing tirelessly to expand the transportation alternatives available to its residents. We want to thank Congressman Anthony Weiner, Senators Malcolm Smith and Shirley Huntley, and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, whose offices attended the hearing, for their longstanding commitment to ferry service.


Clearly, in an era when we are encouraging more New Yorkers to use mass transportation, the transportation obstacles southeastern Queens residents currently face are unacceptable. Furthermore, in the event of an emergency, we need as many options as possible to get people out of harm’s way. The extension of ferry service from Riis Landing in Rockaway to Lower Manhattan is a major step in getting this part of the City back on the transit grid.


Ultimately, the more we pursue innovative solutions to our transportation problems and the more we encourage mass transit, the more we can help eliminate long commutes, limit congestion and green our City. We are very proud of this commitment to institute ferry service between the Rockaways and Manhattan and feel it is a testament to what progress can be made when we all work together to create policies and solutions that best serve our City.


Thank you for your interest in mass transportation alternatives in New York City. We will continue to keep you updated on new developments regarding this and other transportation issues as they occur.



Christine C. Quinn                                                  


New York City Council


John C. Liu

Chair, Transportation Committee

New York City Council


Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

Council Member, District 32

New York City Council



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