Cecilia Kushner to keynote Ferries 2021 on New York’s ferry investments

Written by Marine Log Staff
Two NYC Ferry vessels

Image: Metal Shark

Marine Log’s FERRIES 2021 conference is set to go live and in person in just over three weeks, with a full agenda and a nearly sold out venue.

The event will take place November 9-10 on the New York Harbor waterfront in Jersey City, N.J., in partnership with the Passenger Vessel Association. As its theme says, “The ferry industry is poised to rebound in 2022.”

Opening the event with a keynote address on the morning of November 9 is Cecilia Kushner, the executive vice president for the Planning Division of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

Kushner, who oversees NYC Ferry, will speak on the city’s historic investment in ferries that NYC Ferry became a six-route (soon to be seven) ferry service connecting all five boroughs, with 38 purpose-built vessels that provide safe and reliable daily service.

She will also speak on:

  • How ferries are resilient. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic when ridership was low, NYC Ferry made temporary and permanent route and service changes while maintaining service at each ferry landing. Since then, NYC Ferry’s ridership has seen a higher rate of return than any other form of public transit; and
  • NYC Ferry’s soon-to-be launched seventh route, new year-round service to Governors Island and second homeport location, set to start construction next year.


Kushner leads large multidisciplinary teams to deliver on some of the most ambitious and complex urban planning, development and transportation projects in New York City. In addition to overseeing NYC Ferry, she oversees $1 billion of active projects geared towards delivering infrastructure and amenities and improving quality of life for New Yorkers across the five boroughs. With 15 years of experience in urban planning, development and resiliency in New York City, London and Paris, she has dedicated her career to executing significant initiatives that seek to improve global cities.

Cecilia Kushner, executive vice president, Planning Division of, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).
Cecilia Kushner, executive vice president, Planning Division of, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

Kushner received her bachelor’s degree from La Sorbonne and holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from The Bartlett School of Planning at University College London, and a master’s degree in city planning from Hunter College, where she has taught planning as an adjunct.


The venue, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking ferry traffic on the Hudson River, is a quick ferry ride from New York City.

Marine Log has partnered with the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) to plan what will be the industry’s first live event in 18 months.

In addition to two days of in-person discussions and dynamic Q&A sessions, the event will feature ample opportunities for networking.

Over the next several years, the ferry industry is expected to experience rapid growth and innovation. The collaboration between Marine Log and the PVA enables both organizations to share resources and industry knowledge in support of the ferry industry at this critical juncture.

As ever, a focus of the program will be on lessons learned from hard-earned, real-life experience. In addition, the program will explore new ways to meet economic and environmental targets through advances in technology, innovative approaches to operating a vessel, and the latest trends in ferry design.


A highlight of this year’s event will be an in-person tour of the first of the three new Ollis Class ferries being delivered to New York Harbor this fall for the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division. The ferries—designed by Elliott Bay Design Group in Seattle, Wash.—were built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s Allanton, Fla., shipyard.

Conference attendees will get a guided tour of the vessel’s pilothouse, engineroom, and its passenger spaces.

NYCDOT will also allow guests to explore its full mission pilothouse simulator. Designed as a close reproduction of the Ollis Class pilothouse, the simulator features the same Furuno radars and Transas ECS units as the ferries.

A Q&A session will conclude the tour on the saloon deck of the ferry prior to returning to the hotel for the remainder of the conference.

Currently, the growing list of event sponsors includes Cummins and Soundown, and J&A Enterprises (platinum sponsors); Glosten, ABB, Kongsberg, Wärtsilä, Marine Jet Power, and Siemens Energy (gold sponsors); NCP Coatings, MTU – A Rolls-Royce Solution, BMT, Elkon, EMS Marcon, Beier Integrated Systems, RocketRez, The Shearer Group, C-Job Naval Architects, and Thrustmaster (silver sponsors); and Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Elliott Bay Design Group, Great Lakes Power, Twin Disc, Derecktor, Karl Senner, Rigidized Metals, All American Marine, Panolin, Martin Ottaway, TNEMEC, R.A. Mitchell, and BAE Systems (bronze sponsors); UES Seating (tour sponsor); Hornblower (lunch sponsor); TEPCO Solutions (cocktail sponsor); Simplex Americas (lanyard sponsor); and Metal Shark (registration bag sponsor).

Registration for the event is now open

For questions on sponsorships, please contact David Harkey at dharkey@sbpub.com.

Categories: Ferries, News, Passenger Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,