Ferry Will Provide Relief for Southern Brooklyn Residents Who Will Be Stranded By 14 Months Of Montague Tunnel Repairs

$2 Ferry Will Take Riders From Sunset Park To Wall Street In 15 Minutes

Brooklyn, NY – City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Council Member Vincent J. Gentile today announced the New York City Economic Development Corporation will provide temporary ferry service for Southern Brooklyn residents beginning August 5.

EDC agreed to expand ferry service to Southern Brooklyn following calls from Speaker Quinn, Council Member Gentile, elected officials and transportation advocates to mitigate the impact of the MTA’s plans to disrupt R train service for 14 months. Beginning this Friday, the MTA will shutter the Montague Street tunnel – a main artery connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan – for repairs.

“I’m pleased the New York City Economic Development Corporation listened to the concerns of the City Council and agreed to implement a pilot program to extend ferry service to Southern Brooklyn,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Expanding the Rockaway Ferry to Sunset Park will be a boon for the thousands of straphangers preparing for a 14-month disruption on the R Train. I thank Council Member Gentile for championing this service and will work alongside my colleagues to ensure ferry service continues beyond the initial trial run.”

“I am pleased to have worked with the Mayor’s Office, Speaker Quinn and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to make this possible,” said Council Member Vincent J. Gentile. “Having this temporary ferry will ease commutes for those who use the R train, so I encourage people to skip the train crowds and use the ferry which will get you to Wall Street in 15 minutes and then to midtown thereafter. We must show the City that we need this service and that we will use it in large numbers so that it can be continued beyond the trial run.”

The ferry, which will be operated by SeaStreak, will depart from the Rockaways and make a stop at the 58th Street Pier / Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park before making two stops in Manhattan – first at Pier 11 / Wall Street and a second and last stop at East 34th Street.

The ferry will cost $2, take commuters from Sunset Park to Wall Street in 15 minutes and ease commutes for thousands of straphangers.

“I am thrilled to bring ferry service back to my District! I sincerely thank my colleague Councilman Vincent Gentile and his staff, as well as Speaker Quinn and Councilman Recchia, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and other advocates and residents for coming together to make this a reality,” said Council Member Sara M. González. “The closure of the Montague Street Tunnel will put a serious strain on tens thousands of residents in my community who depend on R train service. The Pier at 58th Street in Sunset Park is an ideal location to offer alternative means of transportation for Southwest Brooklyn residents in the form of ferry service. I look forward to using the ferry myself alongside hundreds of my neighbors and constituents”

“While the MTA moves to make needed repairs to this essential transit artery, we are pleased to announce that residents of South Brooklyn will receive this new ferry service to lessen the strain on their commutes,” said Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., Chair of the Finance Committee. “This plan responds to the needs of our constituents and displays a willingness to find common sense transportation solutions as we work to mitigate the impact of Superstorm Sandy.”

“Adding ferry service is a valuable step in creating a comprehensive plan to serve R train riders when the tunnel to Manhattan closes for repair work,” said John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance. “ Working closely with our elected officials, Riders Alliance members asked the City and the MTA to consider every option for how to alleviate the burden on subway riders during this extraordinary period of repair work. Ferry service will give subway riders a way to avoid extra-crowded trains and longer-than-usual waits while the R train tunnel is under repair.”

“We are thrilled that the Mayor’s Office has made the right decision to expand transit capacity to Southwest Brooklyn through fast, affordable, and reliable ferry service,” said Roland Lewis, President & CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. “This is a good start. As has been demonstrated through the East River Ferry, frequent and affordable ferry service will be embraced by the public. As we learned from Superstorm Sandy, a redundant and reliable system of waterborne transit is essential to the safety of all New Yorkers. Though this service is being installed temporarily, we look forward to working with the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, and the EDC to make sure that ferry transit becomes a permanent fixture of the transit network for commuters of Southwest Brooklyn.”