Letter: Ferries could offer LI alternative

Councilman John Cochrane at the Ocean Beach ferry

Councilman John Cochrane at the Ocean Beach ferry docks in Bay Shore on Feb. 4, 2014. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

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When I read about the potential strike by Long Island Rail Road workers, I wonder why we don't consider a transportation alternative: ferries ["Rail union rips MTA on talks," News, Feb. 22].

Most people on Long Island live less than five miles from navigable water. Ferries don't need rails, roads or thousands of employees. They are maneuverable and fast, and they work in blackouts and floods. In fact, they are working right now in the middle of this awful winter on the East and Hudson rivers.

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A recent 3-year study by the New York Economic Development Corp., a city agency, shows that where there is a ferry port, there is economic revival in the form of jobs, land valuation and community development.

Ferries could also drastically cut down on greenhouse gases, and people enjoy commuting on a ferry over driving or taking the train. In fact, there is federal grant money available for communities to develop ferry ports.

James Warwick, Port Washington

Editor's note: The writer runs an advocacy organization, the Long Island Sound Waterways Association.

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