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Boost the Economy, Expand the Ferry

This petition had 757 supporters

We're moving toward replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge with no viable alternatives to driving and paying double digit tolls. We need a solution to preserve growth and economic development:

Expand the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry into "off-peak" times. 

We call on Governor Cuomo to publicly commit to studying, once more, passenger transit service across the proposed Tappan Zee Bridge replacement. Without expanded transit, Rockland continues to feel the negative effects of jobs inaccessibility, car-oriented development, pollution, pressure on government services, high taxes, and stagnating growth. Please, read a recent report by the Brookings Institution ranking the NYC Metro area as the worst urban/suburban imbalance for transit access to jobs:

In particular, Rockland's lack of transit access and weak development patterns pushes the metro area to achieve this poor ranking.

Cities in the region have a labor access rate of 58%. Conversely, outer suburbs have a labor access rate of around 14%. This is a very large imbalance. We are beginning to see the consequences of this imbalance in lackluster jobs and housing market performance in these transit weak areas.

I would also appreciate your consideration of existing transit services when meeting the Cuomo Administration at the negotiation table.

In Haverstraw, the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry has enjoyed major success over the last 10 years. Each day, the ferry service moves hundreds of North Rockland, Clarkstown, and southeastern Orange County residents across the Hudson River to jobs in Westchester and in New York. A growing number of Westchester and New York City residents are using the ferry to access jobs and recreation opportunities in Haverstraw, Rockland and beyond. Visitors arrive each Friday evening, stay in local inns and eat at local restaurants. The Haverstraw Downtown Restaurant Row is beginning to boom and more visitors arriving on foot and by ferry can only boost this economic phenomenon.

The ferry is a vital service to the community and to Rockland as a whole, driving real value for tourism and development. Downtown Haverstraw's continued growth and renaissance is contingent upon expanded reliable and convenient off-peak ferry service to Westchester and beyond. Today, the ferry does not run mid-day, at night, nor on weekends.

Off-peak and weekend service is driving record growth for MetroNorth Railroad. The Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry is a "feeder" service to the Ossining MetroNorth rail station. There is no reason Haverstraw cannot become a "station" on the MetroNorth Hudson Line, given expanded service to meet each departing and arriving train at Ossining. MetroNorth is part of the busiest commuter railroad on this continent, which handled 85 million trips in 2011 and is now adding 230 mostly off-peak trains to schedules. Please, read: Ferry schedule expansion is relatively cheap when compared to rail or even bus expansion.

I am requesting that you re-think the current dialogue between Rockland/Westchester, the State Assembly, Senate, the federal government and the Cuomo Administration. Expanding ferry service, and existing rail service, should be a bargaining chip in these discussions. If Governor Cuomo cannot consider transit for the TZB on the day the bridge opens, then he should supply alternatives and steps toward creating expanded service in the corridor. The region cannot functionally grow without transit service enhancements. We cannot forget that by enhancing our existing ferry (and rail) service, government can create real and sustainable economic growth and most importantly jobs.

Village of Haverstraw, N.Y. Resolution in favor of Expanded Ferry Service

Resolution #254, 2012

Village of Haverstraw

Whereas, the Haverstraw –Ossining Ferry Service began on September 14, 2000 as part of a five party transaction among NYS Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro North Commuter Rail Road, NY Waterway and Ginsburg Development Companies, LLC;

Whereas, the current Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry Service became the first such service from Haverstraw to Ossining since 1851;

Whereas, the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry Service uses a double hulled vessel capable of speeds up to 38 knots causing the Hudson River crossing to occur in approximately 11 minutes;

Whereas, the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry Service has operated uninterrupted except for extreme inclement weather for 12 years;

Whereas, the Haverstraw –Ossining Ferry Service services approximately 500 riders per day on weekdays, Monday-Friday;

Whereas, the Haverstraw –Ossining Ferry Service makes fourteen trips per day between Westchester and Rockland Counties;

Whereas, the Village of Haverstraw Board of Trustees desires to increase visitors to its newly renovated downtown and restaurant district, notably on Saturdays and Sundays. Conversely, many Haverstraw residents have expressed interest in accessing Westchester County and the Metro North Commuter Rail Road for trips to NYC on Saturdays and Sundays.

Now Therefore Be It Resolved That,

The Village of Haverstraw Board of Trustees requests that Metro North Commuter Railroad extend Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry Service operation to include a weekend schedule, to coincide with the Metro North Commuter Railroad weekend schedule.

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