The Brian Lehrer Show

Sink or Swim: de Blasio's Ferry Plan

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The mayor put forward a plan for expanded ferry service to all five boroughs in his State of the City address this week. We look at the numbers to see how that plan would (could) work.

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Transportation Nation

Cuomo Asks Public for LGA and JFK Makeover Plans

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Governor announced a design competition to improve LaGuardia and JFK Airports — and how we get to them.
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Transportation Nation

Staten Island Ferry Gets Major Storm Safety Upgrade

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The ferry system is getting new storm-resilient boats and docking stations, thanks to almost $192 million in federal funding.
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We'll Get to Ride the East River Ferry Through 2019

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mayor Bloomberg is extending east river ferry service for five more years.



Sandy Minute-by-Minute: Commuting by Sea at 6:30 AM

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Life changed for thousands in our region almost a year ago when Sandy blew in. For Raul Romero, a resident of Rockaway Beach, that change is most evident every morning when he boards the Sea-Streak Ferry for his morning commute.

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Transportation Nation

During R Train Outage, a Ferry Alternative - Briefly

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


The coming outage of the R train tunnel under the East River will inconvenience straphangers from Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. A ferry will serve as a low-cost option, but not for very long. 

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Transportation Nation

Dozens Injured in Lower Manhattan Ferry Crash

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The hull of the Seastreak Wall Street catamaran ferry is visibly damaged after a docking accident. (Colby Hamilton/WNYC)

(WNYC Newsroom-- New York, NY) Emergency crews are at the Wall Street Pier responding to ferry accident that injured 30 to 50 people, according to police and fire officials. The Seastreak Wall Street catamaran ferry came from Highlands, New Jersey and struck a dock at Pier 11 during rush hour in lower Manhattan.

WNYC is covering the story; read more here. For the latest, follow @ColbyHamilton.

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Transportation Nation

Staten Island To Get A Second Ferry...Briefly

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Map of the temporary ferry terminal in Great Kills Park (image courtesy of NYC DOT)

The dream of a South Shore ferry for Staten Island will soon be a reality -- albeit a fleeting one.

To improve the post-Sandy commute for some of the hardest-hit areas of the southernmost borough, New York City is soliciting bids for temporary ferry service from Great Kills to two separate points in Manhattan. The service -- which will be made possible by FEMA funding -- is expected to be up and running by Monday, November 26th.

The existing Staten Island Ferry operates between the northern tip of the borough -- difficult to get to for residents further afield -- to the Battery in lower Manhattan, which is experiencing its own issues: the South Ferry subway station, seriously damaged during the storm surge, remains closed.

This isn't the first time the idea of a ferry on the southern tip of the island has been raised. According to a story earlier this year in the Staten Island Advance, there was a 1997 plan to operate a fast ferry between Great Kills Harbor and Manhattan, but it  "was thwarted by community opposition."

A press release from the city says the service will operate for eight weeks and will include "six trips leaving a newly-constructed landing at Great Kills between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM, bound for Pier 11 at Wall Street and continuing on to 35th Street, and six return departures in the afternoon, between 12:00 Noon to 6:15 PM. The one-way fare will be $2.00, comparable to fares for temporary ferry routes established in the Rockaways."

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Transportation Nation

Staten Island Ferry Resumes Service at Noon on Friday

Friday, November 02, 2012

The first Staten Island Ferry since Sandy (photo courtesy of Bob Moses)

(UPDATED 11/2/12) The first Staten Island Ferry since Hurricane Sandy will depart at noon Friday, followed by half-hourly service in both directions.

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan had Transportation Nation Thursday: "I'm hopeful that by tomorrow afternoon, I'll be talking to you live from the ferry terminal."

The city shut down ferry operations in advance of Hurricane Irene. Although the fleet wasn't harmed in the storm, the docks suffered damage.

Sadik-Khan also said high-occupancy vehicle restrictions would remain in place through midnight Friday. "Then we'll revisit it," she said, pending restoration of subway service.

The DOT has been working with the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority to bridge the gap in subway service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and has instituted special shuttle bus service and bus-only lanes to speed travel over the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges. Temporary bus lanes have also been set up on either side of the bridges on Third and Flatbush Avenues.

On a normal weekday, said Sadik-Khan, 728,000 people take the subway into Manhattan from the Jay Street, Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center and Hewes Street subway stations. Over 200,000 people usually drive over the East River Bridges.

Sadik-Khan said the dedicated lanes were working. "Traffic was tough today," she said, "but it's pretty good flow considering the challenges that we face."

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Transportation Nation

NY To Get Bigger East River Ferries for Weekend Travel

Friday, May 25, 2012

East River ferry (photo by synergii1 via Flickr)

New York's East River ferry service boats will more than double in size on weekends, to accommodate 399 passengers as opposed to the current 149.   The bigger boats will operate on summer weekends.

The boats will operate every 45 minutes from 9:35 am until 9:30 am on the weekends, making stops in Governor's Island.

On weekdays, the vessels will operate from 6:45 AM until 8:45 PM. in both directions. During morning and evening peak hours, there will be three boats running every twenty minutes. During weekday off-peak hours, there will be two boats running on a thirty-minute schedule.

According to the city, "Ferry service was launched on June 13, 2011, as part of a 3-year pilot program to provide year-round ferry service between East 34th Street and Pier 11 in Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens, Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg, and DUMBO in Brooklyn, and seasonally to Governor’s Island."

"The service costs riders $4 for a one-way ticket, $12 for an unlimited all-day pass, and $140 for an unlimited monthly pass. Ferries accommodate bikes on board for an additional dollar. Ticketing machines are available at all commuter locations along with staffed ticket agents at some stops."

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: President's Infrastructure-Heavy Budget, Impromptu Whitney Houston Subway Tribute

Monday, February 13, 2012

Top stories on TN:
Former Governor David Paterson: Port Authority Problems No Secret (Link)
New York Republicans May Defect on Transportation Bill (Link)
Undaunted by Redistricting, John Mica Declares He’s Staying Put (Link)
Watch Out Lovers: 7th Avenue Subway Line Shuts Down Overnights Week of February 13th (Link)
Photos: Take BART to Rural California (Link)

Metrolink train (photo by LAWad via Flickr)

President Obama's 2013 budget includes hundreds of billions of dollars in spending on infrastructure. (Wall Street Journal, Marketplace)

Two bills proposing federal safety standards for subways and light rail systems will go before the House and Senate this week. (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, Metrolink -- Southern California's commuter rail system --  is forging ahead with the most sophisticated collision avoidance system in the country... (Los Angeles Times)

...despite efforts in Congress to relax requirements to install the crash-avoidance technology nationwide. (Los Angeles Times editorial)

New York Daily News editorial: The Port Authority audit "blamed a bureaucracy that everyone loves to hate while turning a blind eye to the truth that the governors of New York and New Jersey were in control through the debacle."

Officials wary about mounting costs plan to scale back the first segment of work for New York's future Moynihan Station. (Wall Street Journal)

The warmer-than-average winter is extending ferry service in Lake Superior, but depriving locals of a favorite seasonal ice road. (Duluth News Tribune)

Impromptu Whitney Houston tribute on the #2 subway: a group of riders sang "I Will Always Love You." (Gothamist)

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Transportation Nation

New East River Ferry Commuter Service Begins This Month

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Seth Pinsky, announcing the new East River ferry service (photo by Brian Zumhagen/WNYC)

(Brian Zumhagen, WNYC) A new, year-round commuter ferry is coming to New York's East River this month. It will leave from East 34th Street and Pier 11 in Manhattan and make stops in Long Island City, Williamsburg and Dumbo.

The New York Waterway ferries will run every 20 minutes during rush hour and, in the summer, will stop at Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, as well as Governors Island.

"It will spur economic development on both sides of the river," said New York City Economic Development Corporation president Seth Pinsky, who announced details of the plans on Wednesday, "with literally thousands of residents within walking distance of the neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan being able to reap the benefits of this new service.”

The launch is scheduled for June 13 and rides will be free for the first 12 days. After that, a one-way ticket will cost $4.

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Transportation Nation

NY East River to Get Regular Commuter Ferry Service

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) New Yorkers who commute between Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens will have another transportation option this June. The city's Economic Development Corporation has awarded a contract that charts a course  for all-day, year-round East River ferry service.

The ferries will be operated by the BillyBey Ferry Company, a division of New York Waterway. They'll run every 20 minutes in both directions and make seven stops between Long Island City and the Fulton Ferry Landing. Two additional seasonal stops — to Atlantic Avenue and Governors Island— are also in the works.

Paul Goodman, CEO of  BillyBey, is confident that the reliability of the service — coupled with the convenience — will help the ferries build a following.

“When you ride along the waterfront, there are lots of areas where we are simply going to be the more convenient option,” he said. “And with the assistance of the city, in terms of the subsidy they're providing, this is going to be priced very attractively as well.”

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Transportation Fatalities Down, Poverty On the Rise, and State of the Subways Report Out

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The National Transportation Safety Board says that transportation fatalities dropped 9% from 2008 to 2009. But on the rise: marine deaths and pipeline fatalities.  (Washington Post)

Poverty is on the rise across the country, but it's worse in the suburbs, where (since 2000) there's a 37.4% increase.  Rise in cities: 16.7%.  "Future poverty increases will be partly determined by...government policy decisions promoting job growth, affordable housing and transportation." (AP via New York Times)

The new Straphangers Campaign State of the Subways report says that overall, New York's subways have improved (New York Daily News). Especially compared to 25 years ago, when "17 percent of trains were mislabeled with the wrong line number or letter." All aboard the mystery train!  (WNYC)

The implementation of New York's "bikes in buildings" law is proving...challenging for some. (AM NY)

Ford is working with the New York Power Authority to prepare New Yorkers for electric vehicles. (Automotive World)

U.S., Japanese airlines win antitrust immunity for cooperating on pricing and routes (Bloomberg). Meanwhile, in other antitrust news, a company that provides ferryboat service to Mackinac Island (MI) is suing the local government and another ferry provider, saying that the latter two have conspired to create a monopoly. (Detroit Free Press)

The Seat Not Taken: John Edgar Wideman's op-ed on race and seating on the Acela. "Unless the car is nearly full, color will determine, even if it doesn’t exactly clarify, why 9 times out of 10 people will shun a free seat if it means sitting beside me." (New York Times)

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