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Glen Cove, Hunters Point ferries to accommodate LIRR riders

The city of Glen Cove gets it's long-awaited

The city of Glen Cove gets it's long-awaited ferry service to Manhattan because of LIRR construction. The ferry terminal sit empty on Monday, June 12, 2017, in Glen Cove. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Ferries could depart from the new Glen Cove Ferry Terminal for the first time this summer to accommodate LIRR riders during track work at Penn Station, MTA officials said Monday.

Ferries would run from Glen Cove to 34th Street from 6-10 a.m. and from 3-7 p.m. for riders who show their weekly or monthly LIRR passes, according to a news release. Additional ferries will also be added to existing service from Hunters Point in Long Island City to 34th Street.

The plan, however, met with instant opposition from the Village of Sea Cliff at a trustee meeting Monday night.

Village administrator Bruce Kennedy said in an interview that the Glen Cove ferries’ route would take them into waters within Sea Cliff’s boundaries.

“We would insist on a full environmental impact statement before we would allow such a thing,” Kennedy said. “We have children and multiple sailing camps throughout the summer. It’s a recreational harbor, it’s adjoining our beach. There are severe, significant safety concerns.”

Kennedy also said insufficient parking would cause traffic jams as commuters tried to get to the ferry.

Under the plan, there will be six ferry runs a day on each route, which should accommodate 2,300 commuters, according to the release. The MTA is also considering the “feasibility” of adding a South Shore ferry route, the release states.

Service from the Glen Cove Ferry Terminal is tentatively expected to begin July 10 and will continue through Sept. 1, according to Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello.

Spinello said the city is trying to “work out some of the logistics” but that it feels prepared to handle the influx of commuters. Additional parking is being considered for the 1,100 customers who could use the Glen Cove ferry as an alternative to the LIRR this summer, and the MTA is also considering running a bus to the terminal, Spinello said.

A ferry briefly ran from Glen Cove to Manhattan in 2001, but the service foundered and no other ferry operator took its place.

No ferries currently operate from the terminal and boat basin, which was just recently completed. Last year, the city pushed back its deadline to launch a ferry service to Manhattan because no ferry operators submitted proposals.

“The dock’s there, the ferry terminal’s there, we just don’t have an operator yet,” Spinello said.

The new deadline is this September with commuter service to begin no later than January 2019, according to information on the Glen Cove Ferry Terminal website.

The MTA is in the process of finding a company to provide boats for this summer, Spinello said.

“It’s very fortunate for us,” Spinello said. “We get this opportunity to watch this whole thing unfold before we go out with the bid.”

— With Ted Phillips


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