Adams Tweaks De Blasio’s Citywide Ferry Plan


Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams proposed a citywide ferry plan that would provide better community access to ferry landings. His testimony was submitted to the New York City Economic Development Corporation as part of an Environmental Impact Study Scoping Hearing at Brooklyn Borough Hall for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s citywide ferry plan.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

According to the EDC, the ferry plan, which would be fully implemented by 2018, would consist of six routes, carrying an estimated 4.6 million trips a year.

While Adams praised the ferry’s fare structure for being consistent with the fare of single-trip MTA rides, he stressed the importance of MTA fare integration into payment systems. The lack of fare integration may make the ferry option less cost-effective for some riders. Adams also proposed free transfers, for a short period of time, in an effort to promote ridership and provide easier connections to the City’s transit system.

The MTA’s working to replace its MetroCard system in the coming years, providing free-transfer in the short-term, as well as integrating future ferry payments into the MTA’s next generation payment system, will go a long way towards generating ridership and effectively connecting our City’s transit networks, said Adams.

Adams called on the City to partner with the EDC in an effort to connect ferry passengers to MTA bus routes, Citi Bike stations, bicycle routes, and pedestrian connections more easily.

“The New York City Department of Transportation [should] foster safer pedestrian connections to ferry landings, including traffic-calming improvements that link communities to access points,” stated Adams in his testimony. “Improved connections to surrounding communities and job centers are imperative if this new transportation system is to be successful.”  

Adams commended the EDC’s plan to introduce a Southern Brooklyn local ferry route, which would provide ferry access to Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Red Hook, Brooklyn Heights, and DUMBO.

Adams noted the potential for another stop in Sunset Park near the Bush Terminal complex. Adams also gave his support to the Rockaway ferry proposal, which would provide ferry service to Bay Ridge. According to Adams, this route could potentially expand its service to the Canarsie Pier, the marina opposite Aviator Sports in Dead Horse Bay, Plumb Beach, and Coney Island, near the West 21st Street landing in Coney Island Creek.

Adams believes that there is room for improvement to the EDC’s existing plan, specifically revisiting its site selection process in Red Hook. The local community is concerned about the distance between the site and other transportation options, as well as how far away it is for many residents. Near the Beard Store site and Valentino Pier, there are concerns about how seasonal weather conditions may affect service.

Adams suggested placing a ferry landing closer to Van Brunt Street, Wolcott Street, or Atlantic Basin. At Wolcott Street, a landing could be placed adjacent to the road, allowing for an easier transport of goods, specifically to Governor’s Island and Red Hook. The wind-screen from a warehouse on Wolcott Street would shield riders from strong harbor winds, according to Adams.

“I am a long-time supporter of ferry service as a means to improve transit accessibility, reduce congestion, catalyze economic development, and connect communities,” stated Adams in his testimony. “These proposals will offer resilient transit service to communities in dire need of more transportation options.”