Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $6,303,200 in federal funding for the New York City Department of Transportation. The funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and will be used for improvements for the Staten Island Ferry. This grant will fund two projects. The first project will modify raised platforms and walkways for personnel to safely access Staten Island Ferry vessels when they are located at their maintenance facility. The second project will ensure that the ferries are in compliance with federal, state, and local environmental regulations that keep the boats in tip-top shape.
“With this influx of federal dollars, it’s full steam ahead for the Staten Island Ferry and the millions of annual passengers who rely on it for consistent service. This boost in funding will help ensure that commuters and tourists alike can travel smoothly between Staten Island and Manhattan for years to come. I will continue to do everything I can to improve the transportation links between each and every borough of our great city,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
“Whether you are a New Yorker who relies on the ferry for your daily commute, or a visitor riding the ferry for the first time, millions of people depend on the Staten Island Ferry to safely and quickly travel between Manhattan and Staten Island,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This federal funding will help improve that experience and ensure that the ferry continues to be a reliable source of transportation. I’m proud to support this funding and will always fight for the resources that New Yorkers need to strengthen our public transportation infrastructure.”
The Staten Island Ferry provides approximately 70,000 people per weekday (more than 23 million people annually) with ferry service between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan. The ferry is the only non-vehicular mode of transportation between Staten Island and Manhattan. The New York City Department of Transportation operates and maintains the fleet as well as the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island, Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, the City Island and Hart Island Facilities, The Battery Maritime Building and all floating dock building equipment.
The funding was provided through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program, which provides competitive funding for projects that support passenger ferry systems in urban areas. Awards are granted based on several factors, including the age and condition of existing ferry boats, terminals and related infrastructure, and benefits to riders. More information can be found here.