September 22, 2014
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced $191,550,000 in federal funding for two new storm resilient ferry boats on Staten Island and improvements at Staten Island ferry facilities. Earlier this month, Schumer and Gillibrand urged the Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide federal funding for these upgrades as part of the Sandy Relief Bill.
“The Staten Island Ferry is a lifeline that’s vital to New York City’s economy and to the health and safety of our people. These upgrades will improve commutes for thousands of Staten Islanders and ensure we have more reliable, more flexible ferry service when emergencies strike—a key part of our comprehensive resiliency plan. We are deeply grateful to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and to our congressional delegation for working with the US Department of Transportation to make this critical investment,” said Mayor de Blasio.
The new vessels will be more capable of operating in a wider range of conditions and locations. With a recent increase in severe storms, service outages due to weather will become more common for the older vessels and so, the modern and updated vessels are sorely needed. The new vessels will be able to better respond to emergencies and be able to handle large volumes of people in the event of an evacuation. In addition, the project will support citywide transit continuity by modifying several landings at key locations to accommodate the more maneuverable new generation of ferries. The new ferries offer a greater capacity than small private ferries typically used at these landings and this could provide critical support to rail transit services faced with outages.
“Following the unspeakable devastation on Staten Island wrought by Superstorm Sandy, with this massive federal investment – that we fought so hard to secure – we can truly say that Staten Island’s ships have come in,” said Senator Schumer. “After Sandy, we were again reminded how important ferries are to our transit system during emergencies, and that’s why we need modern, resilient and reliable ferries that our Staten Island commuters and emergency response personnel can rely on.”