By Larry Penner
There is money available to support a ferry to northeast Queens (“Public feedback could bring ferry to NE Qns,” Bill Parry — Sept. 28). All Mayor Bill de Blasio has to do is ask NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg to submit grant applications to both the Federal Transit Administration Passenger Ferry Program and New York state Department of Transportation.
Why not apply for capital grants from the New York state Department of Transportation and Federal Transit Administration to assist in funding? NYCDOT does this and receives tens of millions of dollars on an annual basis on behalf of the Staten Island Ferry.
Albany also provides State Transportation Operating Assistance for transportation systems such as the Staten Island Ferry along with local share against federal grants.
Ridership on any transit service generates yearly federal transportation formula capital assistance. Numerous past private ferry operators have come and gone. They could not financially survive based upon farebox revenue alone without government subsidy.
MTA bus, subway and commuter rail, along with the Staten Island Ferry is subsidized by a combination of city, state and federal assistance for both capital and operating costs. All of these proposed new ferry services will require similar subsidies if they are to survive.
Riders could purchase weekly or monthly passes for discounted fares. These could be supplemented by using Transit Checks which will further reduce the cost per ride.
Riding a ferry can be less stressful than being packed in a subway car like sardines in a can or stuck on a bus running late in traffic not moving.