THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY, NJ TRANSIT SIGN AGREEMENT TO RESTORE HISTORIC HOBOKEN TERMINAL FERRY SERVICE

Date: Mar 10, 2003
Press Release Number: 28-2003

The Port Authority and NJ Transit have signed an agreement that will lead to the restoration of the historic Hoboken Terminal ferry slips and supporting infrastructure to accommodate a major increase in trans-Hudson ferry service into the 21st century.

The agreement was announced today by Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour and NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington. Restoration of the ferry slips and terminal area is expected to cost approximately $125 million.

New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, \"Interstate ferry service has been a lifeline for New Jersey commuters since September 11, 2001, providing them with a critical transportation option to get to and from Manhattan after PATH service to Lower Manhattan was lost. Today’s agreement is critical to our ability to provide the infrastructure we need to meet the growing demand for ferry service. I strongly believe that ferry service is a key transportation option we need to relieve congestion on our highways, tunnels, bridges and public transportation systems.\"

Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said, \"The money earmarked by the Port Authority for Hoboken Terminal continues our substantial investments to help upgrade ferry infrastructure and fuel the resurgence of water transportation in the region. As a result of our collaboration with NJ Transit, we will provide employees and residents of New Jersey with a fast and convenient transportation option.\"

New Jersey Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chairman Jack Lettiere said, \"Thanks to the policy support of Governor McGreevey – and the financial support of the Port Authority – the ferry terminal restoration project at Hoboken Terminal will substantially increase trans-Hudson commuting options for New Jersey residents. This project is also consistent with our ‘fix-it-first’ initiative, focusing our limited transportation resources on a vital and historic transportation hub that links bus, rail, light rail, PATH and ferry services.\"

NJ Transit Executive Director Warrington said, \"Restoration of the ferry slips at Hoboken Terminal is one of the state’s long-range strategic plans to increase trans-Hudson capacity and enhance travel options while supporting the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. Thanks to the support of the Port Authority, thousands of NJ Transit rail, light rail and bus customers will be able to take advantage of this expanded ferry operation.\"

Port Authority Executive Director Seymour said, \"The Port Authority has worked aggressively to bolster the region’s ferry network, particularly during the past 18 months. Today, ferries handle nearly 70,000 passenger trips a day to and from Manhattan, and we expect commuters to continue to use the service as they realize the substantial benefits this form of transportation provides.\"

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Michael DeCotiis said, \"The PATH system has always been a critical cog in the region’s transportation network. When PATH service between New Jersey and Lower Manhattan was lost, the Port Authority moved quickly and decisively to provide immediate relief for thousands of people left with limited commuting options.\"

As part of its agreement with NJ Transit, the Port Authority will provide up to $8 million to pay for the design work for the restoration of six ferry slips in the terminal, as well as supporting infrastructure required to reactivate ferry service. The preliminary design work is ongoing and is scheduled to be completed in June 2003.

The bistate agency will provide an additional $44 million from its capital program as the initial financing for the project, and the Federal Transit Administration will contribute an additional $27 million, which will permit initial phases to begin while additional funds are secured.

The agreement also calls for the two agencies to finalize a long-term lease for the Port Authority’s use of the Hoboken Terminal ferry slips.

The terminal and its ferry slips were originally built in 1907 by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. During the early part of the last century, ferry service was the primary form of transportation for people traveling to and from Manhattan. With the construction of the George Washington Bridge and Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the use of ferries began to decline; in 1967, the Hoboken Terminal slips were closed. In 1989, New York Waterway resumed ferry service from Hoboken Terminal utilizing a temporary ferry facility.

Key elements of the ferry terminal repair and restoration work include:
• Reconstruction of a portion of the building’s substructure and superstructure.
• Construction of ferry service ticket offices and a waiting area.
• Restoration of the copper fascia and lighting on the exterior of the building.
• Waterproofing and insulation of the exterior walls near the ferry slips.
• Restoration of the interior finishes of the ferry terminal area.
• Performance of utility and marine work to support the new ferry operation.

Hoboken Terminal is a key intermodal transfer point for New Jersey commuters, where commuter rail, PATH, light rail, bus and ferry services are available. Hoboken Terminal is served by more than 280 daily NJ Transit trains, 546 daily PATH trains, 394 daily Hudson-Bergen Light Rail trains and more than 300 daily NJ Transit buses in addition to other private bus carriers serving Hudson County.