Source: Queens Gazette
By John Toscano
On September 28, Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (NY- 12) lauded an announcement that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC) have entered into a contract with NY Waterways to provide larger than planned ferry boats to carry passengers across the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan during the L train shutdown. Maloney had been pressing the MTA to increase ferry capacity during the shutdown.
Under this contract, the ferries will hold 240 passengers each, instead of the 149 passengers in the original plan. In addition, NY Waterways will be required to have two ferries in constant operation, with a third boat crewed and ready to go if demand warrants. Originally, the MTA had proposed having a third ferry only available for emergencies and crews would have to be called in. Each trip is expected to take roughly 5.5 minutes from pier to pier, with eight ferry trips per hour at peak times (every 7.5 minutes).
Congress Member Maloney celebrated the announcement saying: “I am pleased that the MTA has listened to its customers. Ferry service has been extremely popular wherever it has been offered, and we expect thousands of New Yorkers to opt to cross the East River by ferry when the L train shuts down. Larger boats will help keep up with the demand and a crewed third boat will ensure that the MTA can add capacity when needed.”
Maloney has been leading the effort for more ferry service since the L train mitigation plan was first issued. She has written, made phone calls and testified in favor of larger capacity boats and more service. On September 17 she held a press conference announcing the MTA willingness to run bigger boats and calling for additional ferry service.