LES ferry makes maiden voyage

ferry arrives at Stuy Cove2

The Ocean Queen Rock Star, part of the fleet of NYC Ferry’s Lower East Side route, arrives at Stuyvesant Cove at 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Despite temperatures climbing high enough to warrant an official heat advisory from the city, cool winds prevailed along the East River on Wednesday for those aboard the new ferries along the Lower East Side route that launched that morning. The ferry that made the maiden voyage took off from Long Island City at around 6:30, arriving at Stuyvesant Cove at exactly 6:45 a.m. as the sun rose, carrying a mix of Stuyvesant Town residents and reporters.

The ferry, named the Ocean Queen Rock Star, then proceeded — at around 26 miles per hour — to downtown landing Corlears Hook, named, like Stuyvesant Cove, after a park on the waterfront. There, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Member Keith Powers cheered the new route, which made its debut months ahead of the dreaded L train shutdown.

De Blasio mentioned that the city has been getting many requests from New Yorkers who want a ferry stop in their neighborhoods and said that by the end of the year, decisions will be made on where else they would go. As of Wednesday, there were already six active ferry routes in the city, all operated by Hornblower. According to the mayor, there have also already been six million riders so far on NYC Ferry.

“We know how crowded the subways are. We know the streets are congested,” he said. “We know we need new ways to get around the city. We will not be the city we were meant to be if we don’t have better options.”

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ST/PCV residents mostly support East 20th Street ferry landing plan

Council Member Dan Garodnick speaks at the ST-PCV Tenants Association’s meeting on the planned East 20th Street ferry landing, as Susan Steinberg, Tenants Association president listens. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Council Member Dan Garodnick speaks at the ST-PCV Tenants Association’s meeting on the planned East 20th Street ferry landing, as Susan Steinberg, Tenants Association president listens. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The plan for an expansion of ferry service that will include a stop at Stuyvesant Cove Park has been met by mostly positive responses from Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village residents.

The community got to hear about the project last Thursday, when the ST-PCV Tenants Association hosted the Economic Development Corporation for a presentation.

At the event, the EDC reps responded to concerns from tenants about the potential for crowding — which the EDC doesn’t think will happen — and promised the new landing wouldn’t impact Stuyvesant Cove Park.

Last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in his State of the City address that Stuyvesant Cove at East 20th and Avenue C would be one of 20 new ferry landings for the five new routes that will soon be added to supplement the existing East River Ferry service.

Stuyvesant Cove will be a stop on the Lower East Side route, which originates in Long Island City and travels through Stuy Cove from East 34th Street on its way to a stop at Wall Street/Pier 11. The Rockaway, South Brooklyn and Astoria routes are planned for 2017 and the Soundview and Lower East Side routes are expected for 2018. Commuters from Stuyvesant Cove will be able to transfer to all of the other routes through either the East 34th Street or Wall Street stops.

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