Press Release Article

GOVERNOR LAUNCHES NEW FERRY SERVICE WITH ENDURING FREEDOM New Boat Honors 9/11, Provides Improved High-Speed Queens-Manhattan Ferry Service

Date: Sep 03, 2002
Press Release Number: 93-2002

Governor George E. Pataki today launched a new high-speed ferry service between Queens and Manhattan, with the christening of \"Enduring Freedom,\" a new ferry boat named in honor of the thousands of heroes lost during the September 11 attacks. The new ferry service will dramatically improve commuting for thousands of New Yorkers and help revive Lower Manhattan.

\"This new high-speed service will provide more efficient and convenient transportation for tens of thousands of commuters and visitors to Manhattan each day,\" Governor Pataki said. \"By working with our federal and city partners to expand and improve ferry service, we have doubled the number of riders using ferries to more than 68,000 daily, while helping to revitalize Lower Manhattan.\"

The service, operated by NY Waterway, will run between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. weekdays. Ferries will depart every 15 minutes during morning and evening rush hours, and every 30 minutes off-peak, taking commuters from the Long Island Railroad Terminal in Long Island City and Queens West to East 34th Street on the East River in Manhattan, and to Pier 11 on the East River near Wall Street. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing funding through its Public Assistance program to help the Port Authority meet the operational costs of providing the ferry service.

The new ferry, Enduring Freedom, will serve the Queens to Manhattan route. It is one of six Sea Otter-class ferries christened by NY Waterway since September 11 to honor heroes, victims and others connected to the World Trade Center tragedy. The Enduring Freedom carries up to 97 passengers at approximately 35 mph.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, \"It has been the goal of my Administration to promote mass transit. We have encouraged subway use, and, just last week, we announced the creation of a new express bus-only lane from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel designed primarily for outer Borough bus commuters. We also are finding out that one of the great ways to commute is to use ferries. In the late 1890s, ferries accounted for more than 100 million passenger trips a year. Ferries help keep cars off the road and help to reduce pollution. In March, this bi-state partnership enhanced service across the Hudson River. Now we shift our attention to the East River.\"

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, \"This new service will not only benefit the economic revival of Lower Manhattan, but also will aid New York City\'s revitalization of Long Island City\'s economy, which has been re-zoned for more back-office and manufacturing job development.\"

Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Allbaugh said, “FEMA will continue supporting locally-identified priority projects until the transportation system is fully restored.\"

Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said, \"Since the September 11 tragedy, this Administration, in collaboration with the State, the Port Authority, the MTA and the State of New Jersey, has been diligently pursuing opportunities to use ferries to improve commuting times and options to Lower Manhattan. Greater use of ferries can both bolster Lower Manhattan\'s competitive position and help revitalize our waterfront. Given the configuration of our city, waterfront development is one key to economic growth.\"

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said, \"I am delighted to welcome ferry service to Queens County. I am sure that commuters, residents and tourists alike will find this comfortable way of public transit to be a welcome alternative. It is also a great opportunity for people to discover our borough, especially Long Island City which is a center of commerce, culture and one of the best new communities in the city, Queens West.\"

New York Waterway President Arthur Imperatore said, “The ferry provides a new Lower Manhattan route for Long Island Railroad commuters from eastern Queens and Long Island and a Queens route for Wall Street firms seeking back office space in Long Island City.\"

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, \"The Port Authority has moved decisively to help restore the region\'s transportation network following the September 11 terrorist attacks. We have helped facilitate new ferry services that now provide capacity for more than 60,000 passengers a day and we are moving aggressively to restore PATH service, a key link in Lower Manhattan\'s transportation network.\"

The one-way ferry fare for Lower Manhattan passengers is $5. A monthly pass is $150, or about $3.60 per trip, with connections at Pier 11 to NY Waterway ferries serving Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken and Brooklyn. For East 34th Street, the one-way fare is $3. A monthly pass is $80, less than $2 per trip.

NY Waterway buses provide free shuttle service from the Hunters Point Avenue Rail Station of the Long Island Railroad to the terminal. Parking is available at the Queens terminal for $4 per day or $60 per month.

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