CARTERET, N.J. — There's a new way to get into Manhattan for New Jersey commuters. Federal money is flowing into Carteret, N.J. to help get ferry service up and running.
The Federal Transit Administration has awarded $6 million to build a ferry that will run from Carteret’s Waterfront Park to Midtown, Manhattan. The city hopes to have the new service up and running in as little as two years.
Currently, an environmental clean up and construction is in the works along the waterfront to build a 299-space parking lot for commuters. The city has spent significant time and money trying to transform Carteret’s waterfront along the Arthur Kill, a waterway which eventually leads to the Hudson River.
Carteret’s waterfront has historically been privately owned, industrial and polluted. But things are changing. The city plans to build an events center, an urban beach, an amphitheater, a Ferris wheel and a ferry terminal along the Arthur Kill.
"Where chemical companies once stood we now have a veterans pier, a boat ramp, a floating dock, a pier extension. Behind you to the south is under construction a 185-slip municipal marina, anchored by a state police barracks that relocated here several years ago,” said Carteret Mayor Daniel J. Reiman.
The cost to park and ride the ferry from Carteret’s waterfront park to midtown hasn’t been decided yet. But they mayor said they hope to provide hourly service in the mornings and afternoons. Construction on a ferry terminal is planned for completion by 2022.
While Senator Bob Menendez praised this project and lobbied for the federal dollars to make it a reality, he also warned that this is not a substitute for the stalled Gateway rail tunnel project. He challenged the President.
"We are not, we are not going to allow anyone to stand in the way of creating the new Gateway effort, two new trans-Hudson tunnels to New York,” he said amidst applause. "It is a project of national importance.”
The Gateway project remains in limbo. A full federal allocation of dollars needed to back the project have not yet been committed.
“I hope we can get the President to understand,” said Menendez. “He’s a New Yorker, he should understand what the tunnels mean to us."