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NYCEDC Announces Extension of Free Red Hook Summer Ferry Service Through September


NYCEDC Announces Extension of Free Red Hook Summer Ferry Service Through September



Free Ferry Will Continue to Run for the Next Four Weekends; Ridership Surpasses 100,000



New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the extension of weekend ferry service between Red Hook and Lower Manhattan through the end of September. Originally scheduled to terminate after Labor Day, ferries will continue to operate on the current schedule for the next four weekends, running from Wall Street/Pier 11 in Manhattan to the Van Brunt Street stop and then on to IKEA, both in Red Hook, before returning northbound. The Red Hook Summer Ferry is free to riders and provides significant support to areas that were among the hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy by connecting New Yorkers with small businesses in Red Hook. The Red Hook service builds upon the success of New York City’s growing ferry network, including the East River Ferry, which recently reached two million total riders in less than two years of service, and the recently extended Rockaway/Sunset Park ferry service. Free transfers are available from the weekend Red Hook Ferry to the East River Ferry in order to connect to destinations in Brooklyn, Queens and on Governors Island, and further link the City’s transportation network. Since its launch on May 25, the Red Hook Ferry has provided over 100,000 passenger trips.



“The Red Hook Ferry service has helped to promote the ongoing recovery of the Brooklyn waterfront following Hurricane Sandy, while also encouraging economic activity in this important commercial corridor,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball. “Extending the Red Hook service, as well as the free transfers to the East River Ferry, will stimulate the continued revitalization of this vibrant waterfront neighborhood.”



In May, NYCEDC, which manages the ferry service, added a second weekend boat to the existing IKEA route as well as a new stop at Van Brunt Street, which activated an existing, unused ferry landing to offer convenient access to the neighborhood’s dynamic commercial corridor. To date, the Van Brunt Landing has seen over 25,000 passenger trips.



The Red Hook Ferry Service will operate from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays through the end of September. Each landing is served every 25 minutes. Free transfers are provided to the East River Ferry at Pier 11, connecting riders from Red Hook to northern Brooklyn, Queens, and Midtown Manhattan, as well as southbound to Governors Island. To date, approximately 900 riders have used the free transfer service.The Red Hook Summer Ferry is the result of a partnership between New York Water Taxi; Billybey Ferry Company, which operates the East River Ferry; Fairway Market; IKEA; and the O’Connell Organization, which owns the Van Brunt Street pier.



The Red Hook Summer Ferry service has spurred economic activity in Red Hook throughout the summer, providing local businesses with crucial foot traffic, as well as presenting an additional weekend transit option for local residents to an area which is presently underserved by public transportation options. Hurricane Sandy devastated many area businesses, with nearly every business along Van Brunt Street, the main commercial corridor, suffering significant flooding and other damage. Industrial buildings along the neighborhood’s waterfront also lost equipment and inventory due to flooding, and residences on low-lying streets - such as Pioneer Street - were heavily damaged. The extended service will continue to be paid for by the City, with a partner sponsorship from Fairway Market, and assistance by IKEA through the expansion of their existing service.



“With each of the 100,000 passenger trips the Red Hook ferry made this summer, it brought more New Yorkers and visitors to Red Hook and its local businesses,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Extended ferry service to Red Hook will continue to help the neighborhood and bring business to Red Hook’s local merchants. Take advantage, and see what Red Hook has to offer.”



“The extension of the weekend Red Hook Ferry is great news for visitors and New Yorkers alike,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “Brooklyn, in general, continues to be a popular destination for the 52 million visitors that travel to New York City each year.  This service allows everyone to explore even more of this diverse and growing borough while offering stunning views of our skyline and waterways.”



“This shows New York’s continued commitment to Red Hook businesses and residents,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “The ferry has been a boon to Red Hook, bringing more foot traffic that benefits the community's businesses that were devastated after Sandy. The ferry has been a terrific addition to New York City’s growing ferry system and I’d like to thank Mayor Bloomberg and NYCEDC for extending this service.”



“The extension of the free Red Hook Summer Ferry is great news for New Yorkers and visitors alike," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "This service has already enabled thousands of families to enjoy the waterfront and support businesses recovering from the devastating impacts of Superstorm Sandy.”



“I join my fellow Brooklynites in saluting Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn, EDC President Kimball and local Red Hook businesses for extending free weekend ferry service between Red Hook and Lower Manhattan,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Since this service first ‘set sail’, more than 100,000 New Yorkers have gotten a ride to the great commercial experiences that Red Hook has to offer. It’s a much-needed shot-in-the-arm for a neighborhood that was deeply affected by Superstorm Sandy, and I’m pleased to see the City’s continued commitment to Sandy-impacted communities. Going forward, I believe the Red Hook Ferry can continue to ‘make waves’ on the Brooklyn waterfront.”
 


“Red Hook ferry service has provided New Yorkers with a valuable transit option for traveling to and from Brooklyn,” said U.S. Representative Nydia M. Velázquez. “This benefits our local businesses and I’m pleased to see this service extended into September.”



“Huge ridership on the Red Hook ferry underscores what we already know: ferries can be an important form of transit for New Yorkers, a must-see for visitors, and vital to the revitalization of our waterfront. Extending Red Hook ferry service is good news for residents, visitors, and businesses alike,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron.



“I would like to thank the Administration and all those involved for making the extension of this service to Red Hook,” said Council Member Sara M. Gonzalez. Since Sandy, my community has fought hard to rebuild stronger and better than ever. Free ferry service is a sensible way we can support local small businesses and residents get to and from the Village of Red Hook. Along with the recent extension of the Sunset Park ferry, the waterfront neighborhoods of my District look forward to benefit from increased access to our local waterways.”



“New York is truly a city of water, and extending the Red Hook Summer Ferry service through September allows residents and visitors alike to enjoy this amenity and actively engage our waterfront while supporting local businesses,” said Council Member Margaret Chin.



“The success of the summer weekend ferry is a testament to the wonderful people who worked tirelessly to restore and revitalize Red Hook businesses after Hurricane Sandy," said Bill Sanford, president of Fairway Market, the anchor store for the community. "We're delighted that New Yorkers will have another month to take the ferry and enjoy all that this unique destination has to offer.”
 


“We at IKEA Brooklyn are excited about the City's decision to extend the extra Water Taxi route to Red Hook through September. Our community is slowly bouncing back after Sandy impacted all of the businesses last October,” said Fredrik Rabe, store manager at IKEA Brooklyn. “We feel fortunate that the support continues and there are many that will benefit from this decision. We hope that New Yorkers will take advantage of this and come out and explore everything that Red Hook, Brooklyn has to offer.”
 


“New York Water Taxi applauds the City’s continued support of the Red Hook Ferry. Our service has provided a vital link to the Red Hook community by moving over 100,000 riders this summer and helping to renew and revitalize neighborhoods impacted by Sandy,” said Helena Durst, President of New York Water Taxi and Circle Line Downtown.



“As we have seen, a robust ferry service within our great city is an integral part of the transportation system, providing a convenient and viable alternative for travelers,” said Paul Goodman, CEO of Billybey Ferry Company, which operates the East River Ferry service. “We are happy to support the city with this important effort.”



“Free ferry service to Red Hook has had a major impact on the local business community,” said David Meade, Executive Director of the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation “While August tends to be a slow month for some, this August was busier than ever thanks to the influx of visitors that the ferry brings. Crowds continue to emerge from the ferry and we have partnered with the O’Connell Organization and Pickett Furniture to install a kiosk to help visitors explore all Red Hook has to offer. Extending ferry service will continue to bring in visitors and help Red Hook recover.”
 


“Nearly a year after Hurricane Sandy, the extension of ferry service to Red Hook is great news. It has brought visitors to the area all summer and will allow New Yorkers to enjoy this wonderful neighborhood through September,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “It is vital for the economic development and recovery of Red Hook to have increased transportation options. The expansion of ferry service to Red Hook is something the Brooklyn Chamber has advocated for and we would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn and NYCEDC for making this issue a priority.”
           


The City’s ferry initiatives are part of the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES), a citywide strategy launched by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn, which lays out a sustainable blueprint for the City’s more than 500 miles of shoreline. WAVES has two core components: Vision 2020: The New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, released a year ago, which established long-term goals for the next decade and beyond, and the New York City Waterfront Action Agenda, which set forth priority initiatives to be implemented by the end of 2013, many of which are being realized. Together, the initiatives provide a blueprint for the City’s waterfront and waterways, and focus on the following categories: open space and recreation, the working waterfront, housing and economic development, natural habitats, climate change adaptation and waterborne transportation.




About NYCEDC

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

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