***VIDEO/PHOTO RELEASE*** Menendez, Booker, Pallone Announce $9.1M Federal Investment in NJ Commuter Ferries, New Carteret Ferry Service to Manhattan

***VIDEO/PHOTO RELEASE*** Menendez, Booker, Pallone Announce $9.1M Federal Investment in NJ Commuter Ferries, New Carteret Ferry Service to Manhattan

   

CARTERET, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, the Ranking Member of the Senate’s transit subcommittee, and Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.-06) today joined Carteret Mayor Daniel J. Reiman and New Jersey Transit (NJT) Executive Director Kevin Corbett in Waterfront Park to announce the awarding of a combined $9,136,800 from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to support and enhance passenger ferry service for New Jersey commuters, which includes funding to launch new service from Carteret to Lower and Midtown Manhattan, make pier and dock improvements in Bayonne, and upgrade existing ferries.

“Today is a good day for Carteret and a good day for New Jersey commuters—and it’s been a long time coming,” said Sen. Menendez.  “A new ferry means faster commutes, greater access to jobs, and better quality of life for residents. Even those who won’t personally use the service will still reap the benefits of cleaner air, fewer cars on the road, and less crowding on N.J. Transit trains and buses. The more transit options you have, the more potential you have to create new jobs, to connect communities, and to build broad-based growth and economic opportunity.”


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“Smart investments in our infrastructure are proven ways to spur economic development, bolster our region’s economy, and create jobs,” said Sen. Booker.  “By increasing transportation options for New Jerseyans, this federal investment in Carteret will help provide commuters much-needed relief while strengthening our region’s economic competitiveness.  This federal funding also takes another important step in the continued resurgence of Bayonne, and reinforces our shared commitment to moving this great city forward.”

“Today, we mark another milestone in the tremendous revitalization of the Carteret Waterfront.  Mayor Reiman should be congratulated for his tireless efforts to bring ferry service to Carteret.  So many commuters face unacceptable commute times that hurt our economy and decrease quality of life,” said Rep. Pallone.  “This federal investment will help support an important alternative option for residents of Carteret and surrounding communities, and will lessen the number of cars on the road, easing congestion and improving air quality.  I am proud to have helped advocate for the approval and funding of this project, and I look forward to returning to see ferry service begin.”

The FTA has awarded $6 million to NJT to purchase a 299-seat passenger ferry that it in turn will lease to the Borough of Carteret for $1 per year, bringing the total federal funding for the project to over $10 million.  Sen. Menendez successfully fought for earlier funding, including $2.4 million he had earmarked in 2005 for Carteret’s ferry service when he represented the Borough in the House of Representatives and Congressional earmarks were still permitted, and by enacting a 2008 provision to allow Carteret to reallocate unspent funds from a previous federal earmark. 

“The $6 million award is a direct result of our unrelenting effort to bring ferry service here to Carteret.  For years we have battled bureaucratic red tape and now concrete steps are being taken to make this project a reality,” said Mayor Reiman.  “Carteret is quickly becoming one of the most desired locations for commuters to call home.  New residential and commercial opportunities, combined with our future ferry service, soon-to-open marina, upcoming theater district, upgraded parks, and stable tax rates solidify Carteret as a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”


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A 1996 Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) study determined Carteret’s waterfront along the Arthur Kill Channel, separating Middlesex County and Staten Island, to be a viable location for ferry service to Manhattan.  Carteret’s new ferry service would provide reliable, significantly quicker and more environmentally-friendly transportation service to New York City, cutting travel times to Manhattan to under an hour, while reducing traffic congestion on the New Jersey Turnpike and approaches to the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels by getting more commuters out of their cars. 

“We’ve seen time and time again the critical nature ferry service plays in supporting Trans-Hudson capacity and driving the regional economy forward.  We are extremely pleased that NJ TRANSIT was able to help facilitate the grant application process for the Borough of Carteret.  NJ TRANSIT’s enabling statutes recognize the important role of ferries in providing the people of New Jersey and the region with safe, efficient and convenient transit options.  We congratulate Carteret for their rigorous efforts in securing the funding,” said NJT Executive Director Corbett

LINKS TO MAPS, RENDERINGS: 

https://www.menendez.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Rendering%201.pd

https://www.menendez.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Rendering%202.pd

https://www.menendez.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Waterfront%20Park%20Map.pdf

The Carteret Ferry Terminal, expected to open by 2022, is part of a bold redevelopment plan along Carteret’s waterfront that includes building a 185-slip marina in Waterfront Park, with Phase 1 expected to open this summer, and an events center at the park, and constructing a $13.25 million boardwalk and river walk funded through a grant through the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The federal lawmakers also announced separate funding today from the FTA: $656,800 to the City of Bayonne to make ferry pier and dock improvements; and $2,480,000 to the PANYNJ to modernize the power and propulsion engine systems on four of its commuter ferry vessels.