Queens leaders celebrate extension of Astoria ferry route to Upper Manhattan

NYC Ferry
Courtesy of Kreg Holt

After more than two years of advocacy, civic leader Richard Khuzami was pleased to learn that NYC Ferry is adding an extension to its Astoria route that will connect riders to the East 90th Street landing in Manhattan beginning Saturday, Aug. 22.

“Old Astoria Neighborhood Association is proud to fully support this critical new NYC Ferry connection between Astoria and Manhattan, which ensures that New Yorkers of all backgrounds have equitable access to reliable and efficient public transit,” Khuzami said. “We have sponsored petitioning, surveys and public meetings to encourage this direct service to facilitate our economic and cultural growth. OANA works tirelessly to promote economic growth, quality of life and cultural health in our neighborhood, and this new NYC Ferry connection will play an important role in ensuring that this mission is fulfilled.”

The new connection comes at no additional operating or capital expense and will not change travel time to or from existing landings on the Astoria Route.

Khuzami, the OANA president, has marveled at the way NYC Ferry has already become a great boost to the area’s cultural institutions along Vernon Boulevard such as the Noguchi Museum, the Welling Court Mural Project and Socrates Sculpture Park since its initial launch on Hallets Peninsula.

“This new connection between East 90th Street and Astoria will provide more families and individuals with a safe way to access all that Queens and Manhattan have to offer,” Socrates Sculpture Park Director of Development and Communications Julia Metro said. “Socrates Sculpture Park has long benefited from its proximity to the Astoria Landing stop. As the city slowly emerges from this pandemic, we are looking forward to welcoming new visitors to take in new art on view and sweeping waterfront views.”

Geographically, Halletts Point is just 1,515 feet away from Manhattan’s Upper East Side, but it is more than a 20-minute walk to the nearest subway station, meaning a trip to Manhattan can take up to an hour by train.

“In Community Board 1, the section of our District where NYC Ferry was implemented used to be known as a transportation desert,” CB1 District Manager Florence Koulouris said. “The NYC Ferry has provided easy access to numerous residents who did not have such a convenience in the past. This additional route will open up many opportunities in the future, including employment and healthcare access. We greatly appreciate this implementation of this new connection and look forward to our residents’ use of this access.”

The Halletts Point landing is at the base of the Astoria Houses where many residents are employed by the Upper East Side medical sector.

“As someone who has always worked hard to expand public transit options for New York City residents, I am delighted the Astoria route will be extended to the East 90th Street pier on the Upper East Side,” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said. “Connecting these two neighborhoods in the 12th Congressional District, which I am privileged to represent, will streamline commutes for countless people who work in the medical industry on the East Side of Manhattan and in the growing number of startups and established companies moving to western Queens. Importantly, this new connection will be particularly beneficial to residents of public housing in Long Island City and Astoria, who are currently underserved by traditional public transportation options.”

Councilman Paul Vallone, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, hopes the sudden expansion of NYC Ferry service to Astoria bodes well for future routes to the borough.

“Our city’s waterways are a unique resource that provides opportunities to expand the transportation options available to New Yorkers,” Vallone said. “I applaud this additional connection within NYC Ferry and look forward to future expansions to the northern Queens waterfront.”

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