By Philip Newman
Two Queens lawmakers have praised the decision of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to start ferry service from Manhattan to LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports.
State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said it was particularly good news since it appeared to diminish chances the subway system would be extended to LaGuardia through Astoria.
“I am excited about the many added conveniences and benefits the ferry service will provide,” said Gianaris. “This will reduce vehicular traffic and is much more sensible than extending the elevated subway through our community.”
“The city and the MTA have been attempting to extend the elevated N and W subway lines, which represent 19th century technology, through the heart of Astoria. We have been fighting this and telling them to start a ferry service instead. Now we will have service to Manhattan from LaGuardia and our community will continue to be vibrant and to prosper.”
The Port Authority said it had received expressions of interest in providing service from seven ferry companies and would decide which to choose within a few weeks. The agency said it hopes to have the service operating within a year.
Delta Air Lines operated ferry service from Lower Manhattan to LaGuardia for nearly three years but finally ended it in 2000.
Pasquale DiFulco, a Port Authority spokesman, said it had yet to be decided where ferry service would arrive and depart in Manhattan but the boats would probably use the Marine Air Terminal at La Guardia Airport.
DiFulco said plans were to use buses to connect passengers with air terminals.