Mayor announces expanded ferry service

The ferry landing at Stuyvesant Cove Park (Photo by Thomas Rochford)

By Sabina Mollot

One year after the launch of NYC Ferry, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that ridership along the city’s waterways could grow to as many as 9 million annual passengers by 2023. This is twice as many passengers as were initially projected, so in anticipation of commuters abandoning the subway and flocking to ferries, the city will be nearly doubling its fleet of boats. For this purpose, $300 million has already been socked away for use over the next several years.

The funds will go towards three new 350-passenger capacity ferries (by late this summer) along the busiest routes and a second homeport where ferries will be maintained and repaired. There will also be improvements to the two main ferry terminals, Pier 11/Wall Street and East 34th Street. These include wider gangways and new bow-loading locations to increase the number of vessels that can dock simultaneously. Infrastructure improvements and upgrades are also planned for existing barges and landings to accommodate larger crowds. Eight charter vessels will also be deployed this summer, each with capacity between 250-500 passengers.

Commuters will also see increases in service. Boats will be arriving every 20-30 minutes on weekdays and weekends on all four routes. Additionally, beginning on Memorial Day Weekend, Governors Island will be the last stop on the East River and South Brooklyn routes. This is aimed at increasing service to the popular summer destination.

No changes were mentioned specifically for the ferry stop at Stuyvesant Cove, although it, along with four other stops on the Lower East Side route, is expected to open late this summer, which would be on schedule.

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Two suspects arrested for potentially bias-related assaults in Union Square

Suspect Willie Ames

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested two men in the last week in unrelated incidents in Union Square after their alleged erratic behavior landed victims in the hospital.

Willie Ames, 47, was collared last Thursday for allegedly pushing a construction worker into the subway tracks at the Union Square station after making derogatory comments about his ethnicity earlier last month, and the New York Post noted that 34-year-old Anthony Powell was arrested this past Sunday night after he allegedly caused a panic at the Union Square Regal movie theater, reportedly strangling one of the people who was attempting to flee.

Police said that Ames, who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat during the incident in the subway station, began harassing two men of Mexican descent while they were on an uptown train that was heading towards Union Square on April 20 around 8:15 p.m. Ames allegedly turned to one of the men and said, “You guys come here to take our jobs and you bring drugs. F—king Mexicans, you people are dirty, you people are nasty.”

Once the train pulled into the station, Ames allegedly grabbed one of the men, who the New York Daily News identified as Luis Lopez, pulling him off the train and onto the platform at Union Square. The district attorney’s office said that Ames punched Lopez in the face three times and pushed him onto the subway tracks, causing a cut on his head that required staples to his scalp.

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Letters to the editor, May 3

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Another option for phone service

To the editor:

Verizon wants to discontinue all of its copper wire, landline telephone service to PCV/ST. It will ask each of its landline customers here to allow it to install new equipment in their apartment that will transmit Verizon’s TV, Internet and telephone service to their apartment over the airways instead of over copper wires. The new telephone service will not be connected to a Verizon generator that provides electricity to keep the phone operating during a blackout. It will have a battery back-up module that’s installed in your apartment.

Verizon recently contacted me to sell me this change in service. They told me that if I didn’t make an appointment for installation of the new equipment, they would suspend my telephone service. I thought there was a better solution and didn’t make the appointment. Verizon suspended my telephone service.

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Maloney opponent suing 2 other Dems

By Sabina Mollot

The congressional seat representing New York’s 12th District that’s been held by Carolyn Maloney for a quarter century now has truly proven to be the hot seat. In a June primary, she is facing two candidates: Suraj Patel, a former employee of the Obama administration who owns a dozen motels with his family and other partners, and Sander Hicks, a small business owner and former independent publisher. Then there’s Peter Lindner, a computer programmer who ran against Maloney in 2016 and was hoping to do so again.

However, on April 24, Patel filed lawsuits against Lindner and Hicks, which according to a spokesperson for Patel, is charging insufficient and invalid petitions.

In the case of Lindner, Patel’s rep, Lis Smith, added, “The Lindner campaign failed to file the required number of signatures to be on the ballot this June 26. Unfortunately, the Board of Elections won’t enforce its own rules unless another candidate demands it, which we have. We look forward to a spirited election where Democrats have a real choice for Congress for the first time in a decade.”

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