By Bill Parry
Second-graders from Queens helped name the new vessels in NYC Ferry’s fleet and, last week, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) visited a class at PS 148 in East Elmhurst that submitted one of the 10 winning names, Spring Mallard.
Three other schools in the borough had winners in this year’s competition: “Rainbow Cruise” was submitted by PS 330 in Corona, PS 112 in Dutch Kills had “Starlight,” and PS 197, the Ocean School in Far Rockaway, entered “The Ocean Queen Rockstar.”
“The kids who came up with the name Ocean Queen Rockstar are why I love this town so much,” Glen said. “Every one of these NYC Ferry boat names have swagger and panache — and these students and their schools should be incredibly proud.”
The competition aimed to engage some of the youngest New Yorkers in the city’s newest mass transportation system.
“Kids say the coolest things, and for the second year in a row schoolchildren are not disappointing,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “These are inspired nautical names, ones our new boats will proudly carry.”
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña was proud of the students for coming together and leveraging their ideas to create exciting and unique names.
“After today, these classes will have a lasting mark on our city’s waterways, and I’m looking forward to taking a ride on the ‘Spring Mallard,’” she said.
Dromm, a former public school teacher at PS 199 in Sunnyside, could barely contain his enthusiasm.
“Congratulations to the PS 148 students who won the 2018 NYC Ferry Vessel Naming Competition,” he said. “‘Spring Mallard’ is such a creative name for a vessel which will be known to millions of people who take the ferry each day. I join Deputy Mayor Glen in applauding all the work they and other students across the city put into this project.”
Last year, the NYC Ferry’s inaugural year, the system served nearly three million riders across four routes that are already in operation, including Astoria and Rockaway. At $2.75 a ride, and free transfers across the ferry system, the cost is the same as a subway ride.
The city’s Economic Development Corporation and NYC Ferry, operated by Hornblower, announced Monday they are hiring people for more than 75 new jobs, including captains, deckhands, customer service agents, ticketing, operations and other positions. New Yorkers of all backgrounds and skill are welcome to apply directly at ferry.nyc. With the expansion of two new routes this summer more jobs will become available.
“The expansion of NYC Ferry not only helps us take advantage of our city’s waterways to provide alternative transportation options to millions of New Yorkers, it is also creating new jobs with opportunities for growth and a strong career path,” City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), the chairman of the Committee on Economic Development, said. “I encourage anyone interested in this field to apply to NYC Ferry and become part of a team that is bringing excellent service to our city.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr