NOVEMBER 21, 2012—New York City is requesting bids from private ferry operators to provide a new temporary ferry service from the Great Kills section of Staten Island in order to provide relief to beleaguered commuters in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The announcement was made by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and N.Y. Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
“We are committed to rebuilding and helping people in Staten Island and all impacted areas get their lives back on track,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Part of the rebuilding effort is making sure Staten Islanders have manageable commutes to their jobs despite heavy damage to roadways and vehicles during the storm. This new fast ferry service from Great Kills is affordable and quick, and we are confident it will help ease the commute for Staten Islanders during these tough times.”
Commissioner Sadik-Khan, said the new service would provide “a new and faster commuting option to some of the city's hardest-hit neighborhoods.”
While city and the Metropolitan Transit Authority have done a remarkable job returning subway lines that were flooded back to service, there are still residual impacts on bus routes, roads and tunnels.
The new service is designed to ease the commutes of residents in Great Kills, Midland Beach, Tottenville and other impacted Staten Island neighborhoods. Storm damage to cars and ongoing transportation impacts around the city have lengthened daily commutes for thousands of New Yorkers in these areas.
The new ferry service will join the temporarily-expanded Atlantic Express X23 and X24 express bus service already serving Staten Island commuters elsewhere in the borough. DOT expects to receive bids before the end of the week, allowing for service to begin by November 26th.
The ferry is expected to run for eight weeks as storm recovery efforts continue, 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 noon to 6:15 pm. The one-way fare will be $2.00, comparable to fares for temporary ferry routes established in the Rockaways.