May­or Eric Adams Announces NYC Receives $7.5 Mil­lion in Fed­er­al Fund­ing to Elec­tri­fy Gov­er­nors Island Ferry


Rendering by Elliott Bay Design Group

New York City May­or Eric Adams today announced that New York City has been award­ed more than $10 mil­lion in U.S. Fed­er­al Tran­sit Admin­is­tra­tion fund­ing to sup­port fer­ry oper­a­tions serv­ing Gov­er­nors Island and Stat­en Island. One $7.5 mil­lion grant will fund the instal­la­tion of shore­side rapid charg­ing infra­struc­ture to sup­port the ful­ly elec­tric oper­a­tions of the new hybrid-elec­tric Gov­er­nors Island Fer­ry announced by May­or Adams and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island in March 2023. The oth­er grant, for $3 mil­lion, will fund the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of a New York City Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOT) off­site stor­age facil­i­ty sup­port­ing 247 oper­a­tions of the Stat­en Island Ferry.

The new, hybrid-elec­tric Gov­er­nors Island Fer­ry will be the first ves­sel of its kind to pro­vide pub­lic trans­porta­tion with­in New York Har­bor, elim­i­nat­ing 800 tons of car­bon emis­sions per year. Along with the nation-lead­ing Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions com­ing to Gov­er­nors Island, anchored by the New York Cli­mate Exchange announced in April 2023, May­or Adams and the Trust are estab­lish­ing Gov­er­nors Island as a nation­al hub for green inno­va­tion. The upgrades to Stat­en Island Fer­ry infra­struc­ture fol­low the Adams administration’s agree­ment with the Marine Engi­neers’ Ben­e­fi­cial Asso­ci­a­tion — the city’s first con­tract with Stat­en Island Fer­ry licensed offi­cers since 2010 — help­ing deliv­er the reli­able, 247 fer­ry ser­vice Stat­en Islanders and all rid­ers deserve.

New York City’s water­ways are key arter­ies for our city — and the $10 mil­lion fed­er­al invest­ment we have deliv­ered for our fer­ry sys­tems today will strength­en this smart, enjoy­able way to enjoy the ride from point A to point B,” said May­or Adams. With anoth­er major win for the Stat­en Island Fer­ry, our admin­is­tra­tion is help­ing Stat­en Islanders get to work in the morn­ing and home to their fam­i­lies in the evening. At the same time, we are putting inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­o­gy to work — rein­forc­ing Gov­er­nors Island as a nation-lead­ing cen­ter of cli­mate inno­va­tion and wel­com­ing this first-of-its-kind pub­lic, elec­tric ves­sel to pro­vide clean­er air in New York Har­bor. We are grate­ful to the Fed­er­al Tran­sit Admin­is­tra­tion and to our fed­er­al, state, and city part­ners who joined us in advo­cat­ing for this invest­ment in New York City.”

As we look to sig­nif­i­cant­ly scale the use of our water­ways for fun and freight, we are excit­ed to ben­e­fit from this invest­ment from the Biden admin­is­tra­tion to sup­port Stat­en Island Fer­ry oper­a­tions and intro­duce the first 100 per­cent elec­tric pub­lic fer­ry in New York’s Har­bor, serv­ing trips to Gov­er­nors Island,” said Deputy May­or for Oper­a­tions Meera Joshi. We appre­ci­ate the sup­port from Sen­a­tor Schumer, Sen­a­tor Gilli­brand, and the New York City con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion in work­ing to secure funds from the Bipar­ti­san Infra­struc­ture Law.”

Gov­er­nors Island con­tin­ues to grow as an unpar­al­leled resource for edu­ca­tion, open space, and resilien­cy right in the mid­dle of New York Har­bor,” said Deputy May­or for Hous­ing, Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment, and Work­force Maria Tor­res-Springer. This fed­er­al grant from the Biden admin­is­tra­tion will help bring a state-of-the-art, elec­tric fer­ry to our waters — reduc­ing emis­sions, sup­port­ing green infra­struc­ture, and fur­ther­ing New York City’s com­mit­ment to lead in the area of cli­mate resilien­cy. I thank Sen­a­tor Schumer, Sen­a­tor Gilli­brand, and our con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion for their part­ner­ship in bring­ing fur­ther fed­er­al invest­ments to New York City.”

As Gov­er­nors Island grows as a mod­el for sus­tain­able urban envi­ron­ments, we are proud to be able to make this crit­i­cal invest­ment that will equip New York Har­bor with its first ever elec­tric pas­sen­ger fer­ry,” said Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Pres­i­dent and CEO Clare New­man. With this grant, the shore­side charg­ing sta­tion pow­er­ing our new fer­ry will serve hun­dreds of thou­sands of vis­i­tors each year, while also cham­pi­oning envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­i­ty. We are thank­ful to the Biden admin­is­tra­tion, our part­ner May­or Eric Adams, and allies like Sen­a­tor Kirsten Gilli­brand and Sen­a­tor Chuck Schumer. Togeth­er, we will make the voy­age to Gov­er­nors Island clean­er and green­er than ever before.”

The Stat­en Island Fer­ry is the busiest pas­sen­ger-only fer­ry ser­vice in the world — pro­vid­ing safe, reli­able, and afford­able tran­sit to near­ly 24 mil­lion pas­sen­gers each year,” said DOT Com­mis­sion­er Yda­nis Rodriguez. This his­toric invest­ment from the Fed­er­al Tran­sit Admin­is­tra­tion will enable DOT to reha­bil­i­tate the stor­age facil­i­ty that hous­es spare fer­ry parts and dock build­ing mate­ri­als, known as Build­ing 45. This build­ing will be bet­ter equipped to sup­port effi­cient fer­ry oper­a­tions through new fenc­ing, improved lot access and drainage, upgrad­ed util­i­ties and light­ing, and renew­able ener­gy ele­ments. We thank the Fed­er­al Tran­sit Admin­is­tra­tion, along with Sen­a­tor Schumer, Sen­a­tor Gilli­brand, and the numer­ous elect­ed offi­cials and advo­cates, for their part­ner­ship in secur­ing this crit­i­cal invest­ment. It is even sweet­er know­ing this fed­er­al fund­ing will also sup­port the first-ever elec­tric pas­sen­ger fer­ry to Gov­er­nors Island.”

Every year, tens of mil­lions of pas­sen­gers rely on the Stat­en Island Fer­ry for their dai­ly com­mutes and more, and Gov­er­nors Island wel­comes near­ly 1 mil­lion vis­i­tors,” said U.S. Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Charles Schumer. That’s why I fought so hard to include these much-need­ed funds in the Bipar­ti­san Infra­struc­ture Law to sup­port Gov­er­nors Island and Stat­en Island Fer­ry oper­a­tions. These fed­er­al grants pro­vide the resources need­ed to strength­en Stat­en Island Fer­ry oper­a­tions and will fund shore­side charg­ing infra­struc­ture for Gov­er­nors Island’s hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry, expand­ing access for visitors.”

Exclu­sive­ly acces­si­ble by fer­ry, Gov­er­nors Island is a nation­al trea­sure that offers a range of unique resources that should be enjoyed by all New York­ers,” said U.S. Sen­a­tor Kirsten Gilli­brand. This $7.48 mil­lion in fund­ing will allow for the con­struc­tion of crit­i­cal shore­side infra­struc­ture to enable rapid charg­ing for fer­ry ves­sels. Build­ing this infra­struc­ture will sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce emis­sions, decrease main­te­nance costs, improve reli­a­bil­i­ty of fer­ry ser­vice for pas­sen­gers, and pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments in air qual­i­ty for res­i­dents of Low­er Man­hat­tan and Brook­lyn. I am proud to announce this fund­ing and will con­tin­ue to fight to improve trans­porta­tion for pas­sen­gers and bring fed­er­al dol­lars home to New York.”

The grants were secured as part of the Bipar­ti­san Infra­struc­ture Law, also known as the Infra­struc­ture Invest­ment and Jobs Act, which became law in Novem­ber 2021. Valu­able sup­port for the city’s appli­ca­tion came from Sen­a­tor Schumer, Sen­a­tor Gilli­brand, U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dan Gold­man, U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nicole Mallio­takis, U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jer­ry Nadler, and local elect­ed offi­cials and advocates.

New York City’s first pub­lic, hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry is sched­uled to begin ser­vice between Low­er Man­hat­tan and Gov­er­nors Island in the sum­mer of 2024. The vessel’s rapid charg­ing infra­struc­ture, made pos­si­ble by this cap­i­tal grant, will enable the fer­ry to oper­ate with zero-emis­sion, bat­tery-only propul­sion, which will drop emis­sions to near­ly zero. The new hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry will expand access for Gov­er­nors Island’s near­ly 1 mil­lion annu­al vis­i­tors and will serve the forth­com­ing Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solutions.

The ferry’s hybrid propul­sion sys­tem will reduce air pol­lu­tion by allow­ing it to tog­gle between zero-emis­sion, bat­tery-only pow­er and bat­tery-assist­ed hybrid with diesel back­up. The bat­tery-assist mode will allow the new fer­ry to reduce car­bon diox­ide emis­sions by approx­i­mate­ly 800 tons annu­al­ly. The shore­side charg­ing infra­struc­ture will be locat­ed at Sois­sons Fer­ry Land­ing on Gov­er­nors Island, with con­struc­tion antic­i­pat­ed to be com­plet­ed in 2025.

The $3 mil­lion award­ed to DOT will reha­bil­i­tate an off-site stor­age facil­i­ty, local­ly referred to as Build­ing 45.” The Stat­en Island Fer­ry is the busiest pas­sen­ger-only fer­ry ser­vice in the world, car­ry­ing near­ly 24 mil­lion pas­sen­gers each year. It oper­ates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, between Stat­en Island and Low­er Manhattan.

From trains to bus­es and now elec­tric fer­ries — the Bipar­ti­san Infra­struc­ture Law is trans­form­ing how New York­ers access some of the city’s most cel­e­brat­ed attrac­tions, includ­ing Gov­er­nors Island,” said Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nadler. I applaud the addi­tion of the first 100 per­cent elec­tric pub­lic fer­ry in New York Har­bor, which will serve as a tes­ta­ment to Gov­er­nors Island’s future as a hub for cli­mate edu­ca­tion, train­ing, and research. I’m proud of my work in Con­gress to mod­ern­ize and expand tran­sit ser­vice for New York­ers, and I will keep fight­ing to build on the progress we are see­ing here today.”

From secur­ing crit­i­cal funds to mod­ern­ize our fer­ry fleet, to advo­cat­ing for a new con­tract for our fer­ry work­ers, to deliv­er­ing a grant to reha­bil­i­tate this stor­age facil­i­ty, I will con­tin­ue to keep my com­mit­ment to improve the ser­vice reli­a­bil­i­ty of the Stat­en Island Fer­ry,” said Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mallio­takis. Stat­en Island is final­ly receiv­ing its fair share of fed­er­al infra­struc­ture fund­ing, and I will con­tin­ue to work with col­leagues on both sides of the aisle to fight for more fund­ing to bring our community’s infra­struc­ture into the 21st century.”

I am thrilled that the suc­cess of Pres­i­dent Biden’s Bipar­ti­san Infra­struc­ture Law will again direct­ly serve New York’s front­line com­mu­ni­ties. Gov­er­nors Island is at the fore­front of fight­ing cli­mate change through clean ener­gy mar­itime trans­porta­tion,” said Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Gold­man. I am also grate­ful to the Fed­er­al Tran­sit Admin­is­tra­tion for grant­i­ng my request for this sup­port for the Gov­er­nors Island Fer­ry elec­tri­fi­ca­tion infra­struc­ture project. Con­grat­u­la­tions to Gov­er­nors Island and the New York City Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion on this vital grant, and I look for­ward to work­ing togeth­er in the future to make our water­ways green­er and cleaner.”

Cre­at­ing and uti­liz­ing the infra­struc­ture need­ed for New York Har­bor’s first 100 per­cent elec­tric pub­lic fer­ry is a cru­cial step towards meet­ing our ambi­tious cli­mate goals,” said New York State Sen­a­tor Andrew Gounardes. I applaud the Fed­er­al Tran­sit Admin­is­tra­tion for rec­og­niz­ing the keen need for shore­side charg­ing infra­struc­ture in New York, and I look for­ward to see­ing our first ful­ly elec­tric fer­ry in action!”

I am thrilled to see New York City lead­ing the way in sus­tain­able trans­porta­tion with the intro­duc­tion of the first hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry for Gov­er­nors Island,” said New York State Assem­bly­mem­ber Charles D. Fall. This sub­stan­tial fed­er­al invest­ment not only enhances our city’s infra­struc­ture but also aligns with our com­mit­ment to envi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship. By reduc­ing emis­sions and advanc­ing clean ener­gy solu­tions, we are tak­ing crit­i­cal steps towards a green­er future. The shore­side rapid charg­ing infra­struc­ture rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant leap for­ward in our ongo­ing efforts to reduce car­bon foot­prints and pro­mote eco-friend­ly trav­el options for New York­ers and vis­i­tors alike. I com­mend the Biden admin­is­tra­tion, May­or Adams, and our fed­er­al part­ners for their vision and com­mit­ment to trans­form­ing our city’s tran­sit sys­tem into a mod­el of sustainability.”

Gov­er­nors Island con­tin­ues to shine as an exam­ple of sus­tain­able, resilient urban life, and this invest­ment in mass tran­sit and green infra­struc­ture is a win for New York­ers, our har­bor, and our envi­ron­ment. I’m grate­ful to every col­league, ally, and advo­cate who con­tributed to secur­ing this fund­ing for a more sus­tain­able city and tran­sit sys­tem,” said Man­hat­tan Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Mark Levine. The future of New York’s har­bor is increas­ing­ly green.”

In receiv­ing this grant from the Fed­er­al Tran­sit Admin­is­tra­tion, New York City is tak­ing an impor­tant step towards a sus­tain­able future. Thanks to this fund­ing, we are not just improv­ing trans­porta­tion across our city — we are paving the way for car­bon-con­scious trav­el,” said New York City Coun­cilmem­ber James F. Gen­naro, chair, Com­mit­tee on Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, Resilien­cy, and Water­fronts. This project is a tes­ta­ment to our com­mit­ment to envi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship and a cat­a­lyst for pos­i­tive change towards a more inter­con­nect­ed and eco-friend­ly future.”

We are excit­ed this fed­er­al fund­ing can be put to good use to ben­e­fit not just the Low­er Man­hat­tan com­mu­ni­ty but all vis­i­tors to Gov­er­nors Island,” said New York City Coun­cilmem­ber Christo­pher Marte. This is a great step towards mak­ing all pub­lic vehi­cles green­er and reduc­ing our city’s mas­sive car­bon footprint.”

Elec­tri­fy­ing our city is a vital step in tack­ling the cli­mate cri­sis,” said New York City Coun­cilmem­ber Lin­coln Restler. Thanks to sup­port from the Biden admin­is­tra­tion, Gov­er­nors Island con­tin­ues to lead the way on sus­tain­abil­i­ty, and I am excit­ed to ride their new hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry next summer.”

Com­mu­ni­ty Board 1 is thrilled to see such quick advance­ment of green ini­tia­tives with the inclu­sion of a rapid charg­ing sta­tion in the shore­side infra­struc­ture that will sup­port the hybrid-elec­tric fer­ries to serve Gov­er­nors Island,” said Tam­my Meltzer, chair, Man­hat­tan Com­mu­ni­ty Board 1. This fed­er­al invest­ment enables us to mark a piv­otal step towards reduc­ing our envi­ron­men­tal foot­print, while enhanc­ing trans­porta­tion and air qual­i­ty for our com­mu­ni­ty. Thank you, May­or Adams, for this ini­tia­tive that not only sym­bol­izes our com­mit­ment to green infra­struc­ture but also strength­ens our city’s resilience in fac­ing the chal­lenges of cli­mate change.”

Gov­er­nors Island is an inspir­ing exam­ple for how cities around the world will adapt to cli­mate change, and with today’s announce­ment, we are show­cas­ing sus­tain­able trans­porta­tion options by mak­ing New York City’s first pub­lic fer­ry 100 per­cent elec­tric,” said Ali­cia Glen, chair, board of direc­tors, Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. We’re grate­ful to Pres­i­dent Biden, Sen­a­tor Schumer, Sen­a­tor Gilli­brand, and all of our gov­ern­ment part­ners in mak­ing this his­toric invest­ment a reality.”

This piv­otal grant for shore­side charg­ing infra­struc­ture is yet anoth­er step for­ward in the tran­si­tion to renew­able ener­gy and the cre­ation of a more sus­tain­able route to Gov­er­nors Island. But more impor­tant­ly, it’s a mes­sage to the world of how seri­ous­ly our city and state take cli­mate change, and it’s a sym­bol of what’s pos­si­ble when all of us — gov­ern­ment enti­ties, elect­ed offi­cials, pol­i­cy experts, and more — work togeth­er,” said Dr. Stephen Ham­mer, CEO, The New York Cli­mate Exchange. This fund­ing will empow­er thou­sands of vis­i­tors each year to access Gov­er­nors Island in a sus­tain­able way, demon­strat­ing how we can adapt to the cli­mate cri­sis with a for­ward-look­ing vision. Thank you to the con­gres­sion­al del­e­ga­tion, the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island, and all those who helped deliv­er this impor­tant funding.”

As the region’s pre­mier advo­cate for water­borne trans­porta­tion, we are thrilled with the city’s abil­i­ty to lever­age fed­er­al fund­ing for our fer­ry oper­a­tions,” said Cort­ney Koenig Wor­rall, pres­i­dent and CEO, Water­front Alliance. The fund­ing award­ed today high­lights two inte­gral com­po­nents of Water­front Alliance’s advo­ca­cy on water­front trans­porta­tion: inno­va­tion and main­te­nance. In a stride toward inno­va­tion, new fund­ing will sup­port shore­side rapid charg­ing infra­struc­ture for the city’s first elec­tric fer­ry. Addi­tion­al­ly, in a wise effort to address water­front main­te­nance, new fund­ing is also being ded­i­cat­ed to the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of Build­ing 45, a key stor­age facil­i­ty sup­port­ing the 247 oper­a­tions of the Stat­en Island Fer­ry. We applaud DOT and May­or Adams for demon­strat­ing the abil­i­ty to invest in the future, while also meet­ing oper­a­tions and main­te­nance needs of our crit­i­cal infrastructure.”

We’re proud to hear that inno­va­tion in our own back­yard will raise the bar for sus­tain­able trans­porta­tion infra­struc­ture in New York City. A 100 per­cent elec­tric fer­ry means the future has arrived in New York Har­bor,” said Jes­si­ca Lap­pin, pres­i­dent, Alliance for Down­town New York. Gov­er­nors Island is one of the city’s gems, and we enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly wel­come news that trav­el­ing to this unique des­ti­na­tion from Low­er Man­hat­tan will soon be clean­er and more efficient.”

The Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School com­mu­ni­ty is excit­ed to wel­come New York Harbor’s first 100 per­cent elec­tric pub­lic fer­ry to Gov­er­nors Island,” said Aneal Helms, prin­ci­pal, New York Urban Assem­bly Har­bor School. Our New York City pub­lic high school stu­dents embrace their roles as stew­ards of their envi­ron­ment every day, as they par­tic­i­pate in career and tech­ni­cal edu­ca­tion path­ways rang­ing from marine sci­ence to marine affairs to marine tech­nol­o­gy. We applaud this grant from the Fed­er­al Tran­sit Admin­is­tra­tion that will allow our stu­dents, fac­ul­ty, and staff to tru­ly man­i­fest the mis­sion of our school while com­mut­ing to and from school every day.”

The team here at Bil­lion Oys­ter Project is excit­ed to be part of a decar­bonized New York City and is look­ing for­ward to a more sus­tain­able com­mute to Gov­er­nors Island,” said Pete Mali­nows­ki, exec­u­tive direc­tor, Bil­lion Oys­ter Project. Gov­er­nors Island is lead­ing the way with the city’s first fer­ry that will run with­out the use of fos­sil fuels.”

We are thrilled to wit­ness Gov­er­nors Island’s evo­lu­tion into a hub for inno­v­a­tive, envi­ron­men­tal­ly con­scious ini­tia­tives, such as the devel­op­ment of the first 100 per­cent elec­tric pub­lic fer­ry in New York Har­bor,” said Craig T. Peter­son, pres­i­dent, Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil (LMCC). This invest­ment aligns with LMCC’s com­mit­ment to envi­ron­men­tal respon­si­bil­i­ty and with our exist­ing work at The Arts Cen­ter at Gov­er­nors Island, a plat­form for envi­ron­men­tal research and prac­tice at the inter­sec­tion of cli­mate jus­tice and the arts. We are excit­ed to par­tic­i­pate in fur­ther ini­tia­tives that serve the broad­er pub­lic and lead to action, advo­ca­cy, and increased engage­ment with one of the most crit­i­cal issues of our time.”