JUNE 12, 2013—Superstorm Sandy battered the public transportation systems in lower Manhattan, including the Staten Island Ferry and the Whitehall Street Terminal. Now some relief in the form of federal funding is coming from the Sandy Relief Bill. U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY) announced that $21.89 million in federal emergency funding from the Sandy Relief Bill will be obligated to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) for transportation projects for preparation or response to the effects of Superstorm Sandy.
“Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on New York City’s transit systems, including the heavily used Staten Island Ferry, and NYCDOT crews worked around the clock to make sure this critical infrastructure was protected,” said Schumer. “This will ensure that the burden of recovering from Sandy is not put on the local commuter and taxpayer.”
The Staten Island Ferry carries about 20 million passengers annually, providing a vital transportation link for commuters, as well as an iconic destination for tourists to the Big Apple.
“In the aftermath of the storm, our city infrastructure suffered enormous damage while our city workers were on the front lines tirelessly working to repair and protect mass transit service across the city, including service for the Staten Island Ferry,” said Gillibrand. “These necessary reimbursements are an important step as we continue to help New York recover and rebuild.”
This grant will provide $12,081,738 in capital funds and $2,313,090 in operating funds for the Staten Island Ferry. Other projects also include those managed by the New York City Economic Development Cooperation (EDC) and for the Trust for Governors Island.
NYCDOT’s emergency response to Superstorm Sandy consisted of preparation and recovery during and in the wake of the storm. Emergency protective measures were performed to minimize the impact of extreme weather and prepare for reestablishment of service. During and immediately following Superstorm Sandy, NYCDOT crews and contractors worked to reestablish transportation service. The projects funded include protective measures for vehicles, facilities and infrastructure; operating costs for emergency operations, including the re-establishment of services and temporary public transit service and immediate and permanent repairs.