Sen. Schumer Prevents $80M Cut to Staten Island Ferry Funding
Nearly $80 million in federal funds earmarked for the Staten Island Ferry that was at risk of being rescinded has been maintained in the recent debt ceiling deal. On Wednesday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer visited the St. George Ferry Terminal to announce that he successfully negotiated the restoration of $843 million in unobligated federal relief funds for transit agencies across the country, including just over $79 million designated to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for Staten Island Ferry operations. The U.S. House of Representatives had previously voted to rescind the $843 million in unobligated funds in the originally proposed debt ceiling deal, the “Limit, Save, Grow Act.”
Roland Rexha, secretary treasurer for the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the union that represents the captains, assistant captains, mates, engineers and chief engineers on the Staten Island Ferry, thanked the senator for his work and said the funds could help his members finally receive a new contract, with the union and the city currently remaining deadlocked in a 13-year labor dispute.
“First, I want to say thank you. Without your support and you fighting for the people of Staten Island, we would still be the forgotten borough,” Rexha said. “Your fight for us guarantees that we’re going to have the potential to pay our members and get a new contract done.” Read more in the SI Advance.