Bring ferry service to NE Qns: Vallone

By Kelsey Durham

City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) is one of three representatives in Queens asking the city to consider expanding ferry service to two locations in the northeast part of the borough.

Vallone wrote a joint letter with his Council colleagues Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) and Peter Koo (D-Flushing) addressed to Hannah Henn, director of ferry service for the city, asking the city Economic Development Corp. to conduct a pilot program that would test out the long-term viability of offering permanent ferry service from Manhattan to Citi Field in Flushing and to Fort Totten in Bayside.

The letter cites a variety of factors the Council members say support the idea of instituting a new route from Manhattan to both locations.

“We believe a combination of factors will lead to an overwhelming success of the proposed sites: the demand from local communities, economic viability, lack of transportation alternatives provided to northeast Queens and the availability of existing docks at the proposed sites,” the letter said.

The letter, officially sent from Vallone’s office, refers to a 2013 Citywide Ferry Study completed by the EDC, which mentioned Citi Field as a potential stop along a ferry route because of its vicinity to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the World’s Fair Marina.

The letter also states that ferry service to Citi Field and Fort Totten would help alleviate some of the overcrowding on the No. 7 train, the only line to run from Manhattan to the northeastern part of the borough.

Under the plan proposed by the Council members, ferry service would be offered from the East River to the two sites in Queens separately, but no service was requested between Citi Field and Fort Totten.

The letter was sent from Vallone’s office May 20 and the Council members said they would await a response from the city.

Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at kdurham@cnglocal.com.