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Deucey

BdB's big idea: Let's put a new ferry next to the old one!!!"

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From St George to WTC @ Vesey Street.

Why Jesus? Why?

http://s.silive.com/WXczUfE

Islanders say mayor’s fast ferry site not a victory for whole borough, especially South Shore

By Sydney Kashiwagi | skashiwagi@siadvance.com

STATEN ISLAND -- As the city charges forward with plans for a new fast ferry on the North Shore -- not all Islanders are welcoming the news or Mayor Bill de Blasio’s choice of route.

The new route will run from St. George to Battery Park/Vesey Street in a total of 18 minutes.

It will continue on for another 17 minutes from Battery Park City/Vesey Street to Midtown West at Pier 79/West 39th Street.

The trip will run for a total of about 35 minutes.

Some on the South Shore say the mayor’s plan to add a new route where there is already existing ferry service doesn’t make sense when commuters on the South Shore are already forced to commute for two hours or more to Midtown.

“Once again the South Shore is screwed. Sure, let's put a ferry up where there is already a ferry,” Island resident Michelle Gennari said on the Advance’s Facebook page. “They are dropping the ball where the South Shore is concerned. I mean, they've royally screwed the express bus system. It never gets better for [Staten Island] transportation.

Janine Materna, the president of the Pleasant Plains, Prince’s Bay, Richmond Valley Civic Association on the South Shore and former state Assembly candidate called the plan “short sighted.”

“To think that putting a fast ferry in the same location where we have one is not a victory for the people of Staten Island,” Materna said.

“If maybe the mayor and [Borough President James Oddo] had to endure the commute, they would be a little bit more willing to fight for the people of the South Shore of Staten Island,” she continued.

On the heels of the announcement, Oddo told the Advance he plans to quickly pivot to see how he can “maximize” this opportunity.

ODDO’S IDEA FOR SOUTH SHORE COMMUTERS

He said he plans to set up a call with MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford to see if the agency would go for running express trains from the South Shore to St. George so that commuters on the South Shore can use the new fast ferry route too.

He also wants to continue to work with Arthur Imperatore, the president and founder of NY Waterway, in the hopes of bringing a private fast ferry to another part of the Island, be it the east side of the North Shore, Mid-Island, or the South Shore.

South Shore Councilman Joe Borelli (R) also questioned the city’s placement of the new route. He said his office is also looking at other potential sites on the South Shore where service could be added.

“It doesn’t solve the problem for the South Shore, but it is a positive step for all Islanders commuting to Battery Park and Midtown, and those looking to connect to the broader NYC Ferry system,” Borelli said.

But Borelli said the South Shore sites still pose “real challenges” the city would need to navigate -- like finding a site with parking for hundreds of cars, a place to build a solid pier and floating dock in addition to others.

THE CITY’S PLAN

The city plans to launch the new route sometime in 2020. It will cost commuters $2.75 per ride.

In total, the city says commuters will see an average of 20 minutes shaved off their commutes to Battery Park and another 20 minutes taken off their commute to Midtown West, if you factor in the time it takes to get on the subway and walk to those locations.

Minority Leader Steven Matteo (R-Mid Island) said he too would continue to pursue new fast ferry locations in his district and on the South Shore.

"Any new transportation option that could potentially help Staten Islanders avoid the usual hellish commutes into Manhattan and get to work more quickly and efficiently is a certainly a good thing. I applaud Borough President Oddo for his relentless advocacy to get us here,” Matteo said. “Obviously, there is more work to do to provide better connections to this service for all residents, whether that may mean changing bus routes or adding SIR trains. But, while I understand the logistical difficulties that other locations present, I will continue to pursue fast ferry options for the Mid-Island and South Shore.”

MAX ROSE SAYS FURTHER STUDY OF SOUTH SHORE NEEDED

Rep. Max Rose (D-Staten Island) welcomed the news of the new route and applauded the mayor, but agreed that further study of a South Shore site is still needed.

“As I’ve told anyone who will listen and even those who won’t, the ultimate goal for this ferry route must be to shorten the tortuous commute that Staten Islanders on the South Shore endure,” Rose said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure we bring every idea and resource to the table to accomplish that goal -- including creating a super express train for South Shore residents as the Borough President has proposed.”

With the North Shore’s Empire Outlets slated to come in the spring of 2019, Joseph Ferrara, the principal of BFC Partners and developer of Empire Outlets, said the addition of the new route will help to further transform the area.

“Staten Island’s North Shore is a can’t miss destination that is rapidly transforming into one of New York City’s most vibrant communities, and today’s announcement that the NYC Fast Ferry will now service St. George only accelerates that transformation. Empire Outlets -- which will be New York City’s first and only outlet center -- will further that momentum with our grand opening in April 2019, and we look forward to welcoming millions of visitors for a world-class shopping and dining experience,” Ferrara said.

An exact schedule for the St. George-to-Manhattan fast ferry route has not yet been determined, but the current NYC Ferry routes run about every 20 minutes during the peak spring and summer seasons, and about every 60 minutes during the off-peak seasons during winter and fall.

“A speedy St George-Battery Park City-Midtown West connection is a much-needed and very welcome addition to what will soon become a true five-borough ferry system," said Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore). "This new route from St. George will take cars off our roads and exhaust out of our air, while adding minutes, if not hours, to the lives of Staten Islanders who suffer some of the longest commute times in the country — a positive, sustainable step forward for North Shore transportation”

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