Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has written a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, asking the mayor to support a three-year pilot program for ferry service in Soundview.
“History clearly attributes the profound success of New York City to its ports and waterways. Rediscovering and reinventing how these same assets can be used today is what I believe this ferry service proposal represents. This proposal deserves to be tested, and it is my hope that, in partnership with your office, we can make this pilot program a reality,” wrote Borough President Diaz in his letter to Mayor de Blasio.
The full letter can be read here: on.nyc.gov/1mwQbq5.
Other elected officials and organizations joined Borough President Diaz to support the three-year pilot proposal.
“Residents in my community have long-endured grueling and often hours-long commutes by subways and buses, and on congested roadways. Over time these commutes take an emotional and economic toll on families racing between work and child care. That’s why I have long supported bringing ferry service to the Bronx. It will not only bring about dramatic quality-of-life improvements, but also reduce overcrowding on public transit and cut down on traffic-related pollution. I’m pleased to see Borough President Diaz making Soundview ferry service a priority, and I urge the mayor to adopt the three-year pilot plan,” said Council Member Annabel Palma.
“This exciting new ferry option would offer a rapid commute for riders in a transportation desert—where quick options to get to work in Manhattan do not exist. I support utilizing our waterfront in Soundview for a pilot program that would ease the daily travels for so many hardworking Bronxites,” said State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein.
“The people of Soundview have consistently expressed their support for new ferry service options in their community, and I am proud to stand with them and my colleagues in support of this critical transit project,” said State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz.
“Ferry service to Soundview could be a game changer for a neighborhood historically cut off from adequate transportation options. Ferry service can also provide some relief from the gridlock that often reigns over our expressways. The quick trip to Manhattan down the East River would save commuters time while also providing a comfortable alternative to overcrowded buses and trains. It will also open up our waterfront and provide easy access to The Bronx so that visitors can enjoy all the great things our borough has to offer. I thank Borough President Diaz for making this project a priority and hope to see it come to fruition,” said New York State Assembly Member Marcos A. Crespo.
“It is high time that the Bronx is connected to the other four via boroughs via ferry. Let’s start with Soundview to employ the blue highway to ease commutes, create jobs and provide needed transportation service to underserved communities in the Bronx and throughout the City of New York,” said Roland Lewis, President & CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.
In his “State of the Borough” address last month, Borough President Diaz called for expanded ferry service in Soundview as part of an increased push for transit options in The Bronx.
“It’s time we embark on our innovative ideas. It’s time to bring ferry service to Soundview. This plan would open up new transit options for thousands of Bronx commuters. A recent study found the Soundview route to be among the most promising ferry sites in the city, and noted that property values and new development has grown faster at current ferry locations. Working with Council Member Annabel Palma, we will see similar growth here.