December 30th - January 5th, 2005
New York Waterway Extends Operations, Announces Plan to Sell 16 Ferries
Thursday, December 23: Financially troubled ferry operator New York Waterway announced that it has agreed to sell more than a dozen boats and the rights to several of its routes to a Manhattan lawyer, allowing it to extend its remaining imperiled operations for at least another two months, the Associated Press reported.
Although financial details have not yet been disclosed, William B. Wachtel has agreed to purchase 16 boats and five ferry routes from New York Waterway, including the operation of ferries to Lower Manhattan from the main ferry dock in Hoboken and the docks in Jersey City, New Jersey. Meanwhile, New York Waterway would maintain 19 boats and seven routes, which it would operate on its regular schedule, said AP.
The deal, which is still under review, would require both approval and assistance from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the federal Maritime Administration, and New York Waterway's bank, AP added.
The country's largest privately-owned ferry service, New York Waterway increased ferry service to replace the PATH train to Lower Manhattan, which was closed after the 9/11 attacks. Since the reopening of the World Trade Center PATH station last December, the ferry operator has witnessed a dramatic drop in ridership.
EPA Declines Leadership Role in Deutsche Bank Deconstruction Project
Monday, December 27: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will not take the lead role in the deconstruction of the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street, despite requests from both state and federal officials, the Associated Press reported.
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), which owns the building and released its draft plan for the first phase of its deconstruction with the Gilbane Building Company on December 14, had specifically asked the EPA to take the lead role in the project. Although the agency declined, it did vow to remain active in the process, the AP noted.
Deconstruction on the building, which was irreparably damaged during the 9/11 attacks, is scheduled to begin in 2005 pending approval of the project's draft plan. To view the draft plan, please click here to visit the LMDC's website.
Chinatown Traffic Study Released
Monday, December 27: Since the summer of 2003, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, in cooperation with the New York City Department of Transportation, has been studying vehicular and pedestrian concerns that affect the quality of life in Chinatown. Released this month in a final form, the Chinatown Access and Circulation Study is the culmination of their efforts and identifies possible solutions for transportation problems in this area, most of which were significantly exacerbated in the aftermath of 9/11. For complete coverage, please click here.
Downtown Transit Plans on Track
Wednesday, December 29: According to transportation officials, plans to develop Lower Manhattan's Fulton Street Transit Center and the new South Ferry Terminal are on schedule, with construction on both slated to begin next month, the New York Post reported.
According to plans, the Fulton Street Transit Center will be converted into a state-of-the-art hub, housing 12 subway lines. Eventually, the center will connect Fulton Center trains with the R/W line at Cortlandt Street and the World Trade Center transportation hub -- home to the PATH and, eventually, a direct rail line to regional airports. Meanwhile, South Ferry Station will be expanded to accommodate 10-car trains, instead of its current five-car capacity, on the 1 and 9 subway lines, the Post added.
The two projects are being funding by the federal government, which earmarked $4.5 billion in aid for transportation improvements following the September 11th attacks, the paper noted.