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Mayor: Canarsie ferry is ‘on the table’

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A Canarsie extension of Mayor DeBlasio’s citywide ferry system is “on the table,” hizzoner told residents during a Sept. 22 education town hall — but don’t expect it any time soon.

Routes for the water taxi’s 2017 Brooklyn roll-out are set in stone, and a stop in Canarsie will apparently be no easier when the service expands to the Rockaways in 2018, according to DeBlasio, who said he is taking locals’ requests for the nautical mass transit seriously.

“We are starting next year in 2017 and we are building it up in 2018. The [next] phase configured comes out of the Rockaways and goes up by Bay Ridge and then up the East River — that makes it tough to achieve in this phase,” DeBlasio said during the town hall. “I’m not going to commit to it yet, but I will bring it back to city hall as we discuss the build-out and will put Canarsie on the table as well,” DeBlasio said when a local asked whether he’d bring the ferry to her backyard.

Borough President Adams called on DeBlasio to extend the ferry to Canarsie earlier this year after news broke that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority would cease L train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan for 18 months of repairs in 2019.

“The impending work on the Canarsie Tube certainly underscores the dearth of transit options in southeastern Brooklyn, and I would hope it spurs city interest in bringing citywide ferry service to the Canarsie Pier as part of a larger mitigation strategy,” Adams told this paper in June.

He argued in a Crains op-ed that the service’s 2018 extension to the Rockaways would send ferries right past Canarsie anyway.

Former Beep Marty Markowitz also touted bringing commuter boats to Canarsie in his 2012 State of the Borough speech.

The Economic Development Corporation conducted studies on citywide ferry service released in 2011 and 2013, but neither included a look at Canarsie.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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