Elected officials demanded MTA subsidize East River Ferry and Citibike Service in Greenpoint and Long Island City for Duration of Weekend Service Disruptions

Brooklyn, NY- Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Council Member Stephen Levin and Council Member James Van Bramer today called on the MTA to help 30,000 stranded weekend straphangers by supporting East River Ferry and Citibike service in Greenpoint and Long Island City for the duration of a service outage on the G train.

Speaker Quinn and elected officials demanded the MTA subsidize the cost of East River ferry tickets- currently $4- to $2.50, the same price as a subway ride, for riders who board the ferry at either the affected India Street/Greenpoint or Hunters Point South/Long Island City stops.

“If taking the East River Ferry or riding a bike are the only options for commuters stranded by weekend shutdowns on the G train, then a ferry ticket should cost as much as a Metrocard swipe,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Expanding Citibike service and subsidizing ferry service for affected riders will help alleviate the hardship weekend shutdowns have on commuters, and I urge the MTA to implement our proposals without delay.”

Speaker Quinn and Council Members also renewed calls for the MTA to support a Citibike rollout plan to provide New Yorkers with access to unaffected subway lines.
“Greenpoint is a neighborhood already underserved, making it difficult for community members to move about the city,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “By expanding CitiBike and subsidizing ferry service we can provide more options to residents and help alleviate the transportation woes of North Brooklyn.”

The plan proposed by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Levin and Van Bramer would place 22 Citibike stations in locations running north to south along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront. The stations would provide commuters with easy access to the L, G, 7 and E trains.

“Long Island City residents deserve better,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “Extended closures of the G train tunnel deserve a full complement of alternative transportation options, including immediate expansion of CitiBike to LIC/Greenpoint, easier ferry access, more frequent shuttle-bus trips, and a flexible work schedule. The MTA needs to treat us with the same respect they give to residents in Manhattan.”

“The necessary repairs to the G train will inconvenience thousands and thousands of people who live and work in Brooklyn and Queens, but this is also a tremendous opportunity for the MTA to innovate and show how CitiBike is an essential part of New York City’s public transportation network,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “Given the popularity and success of CitiBike and biking in general, I bet many MTA customers are ready to become CitiBike customers too.”

30,000 commuters board the G train at the Greenpoint Avenue, 21st Avenue, Nassau Avenue and Court Square stops on the weekend. Though the MTA has provided shuttle service on the weekends, more must be done to help commuters for the duration of G train weekend shutdowns.

Connor Mealey, a Riders Alliance member who lives off the Nassau G stop and commutes into Queens for work says “I appreciate the need to repair the G tunnel after the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy and would welcome any additional service on top of the shuttle buses that the MTA is currently providing,” said Riders Alliance Member Connor Mealey, who lives off the Nassau G Stop and commutes to Queens for work.