Mayor Eric Adams of New York City disclosed that the city has secured over $10 million in funding from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration. This financial support is designated to enhance ferry operations serving Governors Island and Staten Island.
The allocation comprises a $7.5 million grant aimed at establishing shoreside rapid charging infrastructure to facilitate the fully electric operations of the novel hybrid-electric Governors Island Ferry, a project initially unveiled by Mayor Adams and the Trust for Governors Island in March 2023. Additionally, a separate $3 million grant has been earmarked for the rehabilitation of a New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) offsite storage facility that plays a crucial role in supporting the round-the-clock operations of the Staten Island Ferry.
Distinguished as the first of its kind, the hybrid-electric Governors Island Ferry is poised to revolutionize public transportation within New York Harbor, contributing to an annual reduction of 800 tons of carbon emissions. In tandem with the groundbreaking Center for Climate Solutions, slated for Governors Island and anchored by the New York Climate Exchange announcement in April 2023, Mayor Adams and the Trust are positioning Governors Island as a national hub for green innovation.
The enhancements to Staten Island Ferry infrastructure are in line with the Adams administration’s recent agreement with the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, marking the city’s first contract with Staten Island Ferry licensed officers since 2010. This collaborative effort aims to ensure a reliable 24/7 ferry service for Staten Islanders and all passengers.
Mayor Adams expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “New York City’s waterways are key arteries for our city, and the $10 million federal investment we have secured for our ferry systems today will strengthen this smart, enjoyable way to traverse from point A to point B.” He emphasized the administration’s commitment to improving transportation services for Staten Islanders and leveraging innovative technology to establish Governors Island as a leader in climate innovation.
Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi highlighted the significance of the investment from the Biden administration, emphasizing the potential for scaling up waterway usage for both leisure and freight. She expressed gratitude to Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and the New York City congressional delegation for their efforts in securing funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer underscored Governors Island’s growth as a valuable resource in the heart of New York Harbor. She thanked the Biden administration for the federal grant, emphasizing its role in introducing a state-of-the-art electric ferry that aligns with New York City’s commitment to climate resilience and green infrastructure. Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and the congressional delegation were acknowledged for their collaborative efforts in bringing additional federal investments to the city.