East River Ferry Service Exceeding Expectations

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East River Ferry Service Exceeding Expectations
In mid-December, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, joined by a collection of elected officials, greeted morning ferry commuters to celebrate six months of service on the East River Ferry. Nearly 500,000 paying passengers have taken advantage of this new three-year waterborne transportation pilot program, which lands at Pier 11 in the Financial District, in just six months, far exceeding the projected annual 409,000 paid ridership.

"The fact that East River Ferry ridership is shattering projections in only six months is proof that commuters and tourists alike are discovering both the beauty and convenience of traveling borough to borough on the East River by ferry," said Quinn.

The East River Ferry service provides increased access to the waterfront and additional transportation options in areas along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront, giving them a connection to each other and to two key business districts in Manhattan. The fast, frequent, reliable mass transportation option makes these emerging waterfront locations more desirable, hopefully triggering more economic development in New York City.

The ferry service was launched on June 13 as part of a three-year pilot program to provide year-round ferry service between East 34th Street and Pier 11 in Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens and Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg and DUMBO in Brooklyn. Seasonally, the ferry also makes stops at Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and Governors Island.

Having averaged about 20,000 weekly riders in revenue service and now in its winter schedule, passengers are still taking to the water as a more convenient and enjoyable alternative for commuters and tourists in the growing neighborhoods along the Queens and Brooklyn waterfronts. The service costs riders $4 for a one-way ticket, $12 for an unlimited day pass and $140 for an unlimited monthly pass.

Board Still Unnamed For PAC
While Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to name his appointees to the board of directors for the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center (PAC)-a decision that must be made by Dec. 31-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver noted last week in a release that the Port Authority remains committed to developing the PAC.

On Dec. 19, Silver arranged a meeting with Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye and members of the community, who met to ask questions about a number of ongoing issues in Lower Manhattan. On the subject of the PAC, Foye said that, based on reports of fundraising progress from the city, there is no risk that the $100 million allocated by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation will be lost at the end of the year, as had been reported.

First newborn of NY Downtown Hospital Give Birth
Gloria I. B. Ramos gave birth to her first child, Olivia Monique Estevez, Dec. 17 at New York Downtown Hospital.

Of the almost 3,000 babies delivered each year at the hospital, Olivia's birth was remarkable since her mother, Gloria Infirmary Beekman Ramos, was herself the first newborn in the New York Infirmary (New York Downtown Hospital's predecessor) some 30 years ago.

"This has always been my hospital since the day I was born. Ever since I started to come for my pre-natal care right up to my delivery, everyone here has provided excellent care to me. I feel like having my second baby right away!" said Ramos. Her mother, Nancy Ramos, is a particular fan of the hospital and noted, "I've had a total of 11 grandchildren born in this hospital. My other daughter just had her son delivered here this morning."

With the growing number of families moving into Lower Manhattan, New York Downtown Hospital is anticipating even more deliveries in 2012. The hospital's new nursery and NICU have received numerous accolades from patients and their families.

Memorial Held For Stuyvesant Senior
A memorial service was held Wednesday, Dec. 28, in Chinatown for Stuyvesant High School Senior Terence Tsao, who was killed earlier this month by an allegedly drunk driver. Tsao, 17, was reportedly within a block of his Brooklyn home the night of Friday, Dec. 16, when a Dodge minivan ran into him. DNAinfo reported that Vitali Korzavin, 46, was arrested in association with the crime.

BillyBey Ferry Company President Paul Goodman, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Council Member Margaret Chin and NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky at the East River Ferry entrance.

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