Staten Island Ferry fleet to be upgraded with federal funds

Transit

The Staten Island Ferry fleet will add two new boats that promise smooth sailing in tough storms, New York officials announced yesterday.

The boats, which will replace two boats that need to be retired, are funded with $191.5 million in federal Superstorm Sandy aid that will also pay for flood-proofing the ferry’s Staten Island and lower Manhattan terminals.

“After Sandy, we were again reminded how important ferries are to our transit system during emergencies, and that’s why we need modern, resilient and reliable ferries that our Staten Island commuters and emergency response personnel can rely on,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

The new 4,500-passenger boats are designed to handle heavier weather conditions and carry more people in case of emergency. The Sandy money would also upgrade four landings — East 34th Street, Hunters Point and two in Brooklyn, yet to be identified — so they could accommodate the new boats if they need to dock elsewhere in the city.

The money will also cover “flex barges” that can be deployed around the city, including the four upgraded landings.

“These upgrades will improve commutes for thousands of Staten Islanders and ensure we have more reliable, more flexible ferry service when emergencies strike — a key part of our comprehensive resiliency plan,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The boats still must finish a multi-year design, construction and delivery process before theyhit the sea, according to the city Department of Transportation.


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