Pols get behind bringing ferry to Astoria
by Andrew Pavia
Apr 10, 2013 | 777 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local officials are pushing for ferry service to extend to Hallets Point in Astoria. The plan would add one extra stop to the existing ferry service on East River that connects portions of Queens and Brooklyn with Manhattan.

Senator Charles Schumer recently threw his support behind the initiative.

“The East River expansion project can become a ‘Nerd Boat’ that connects our rapidly-expanding tech hubs like DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard with the new CornellNYC’s Applied Science Campus,” he said.

The Senator stated that the service would be another way to alleviate public transportation crowding.

“It will also maximize ferry-use throughout the city and better connect these waterfront neighborhoods to public transportation, benefiting the local economy,” he said.

Schumer has pushed to secure federal STEP funding for the project, which is a grant program for states to address small business concerns.

Currently, the East River Ferry stops in Long Island City, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Greenpoint , Wall Street and Midtown Manhattan. The ferry itself has only been in service since 2011 and was designed to be a three-year program, but was so successful that it has been extended until at least 2019.

State Senator Michael Gianaris agreed that a new ferry stop would take some of the burden off of the area's mass transit sytem.

“The plan to bring an East River Ferry station to Astoria would greatly help alleviate the pressure on our buses and subways by providing an alternative method of commuting,” he said.

Gianaris also agreed that the ferry could connect growing tech sectors in the city.

“With these successes, one day soon we may need to consider renaming the East River ‘Silicon Alley,’” he said.

A possible site for the stop could soon be developed with over 2,000 apartments and a new school, according to a proposal.

“With a lack of public transportation as it is, and a new housing development possibly on the way, Hallets Point is an ideal location for a ferry stop,” said Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr.

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