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Letter to Mr. Fugate, Mr. LaHood, Mr. Rogoff, Mr. Matsuda, Mr. Weinstein, and Mr. Imperatore

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Newark, NJ

U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today urged immediate coordination among FEMA, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Maritime Administration (MARAD), New Jersey Transit, and NY Waterway to expand ferry service across the Hudson, helping more commuters get back to work.

In a letter to the top official at each agency, the Senators wrote: "During this time, it is important to ramp up transportation services--like passenger ferries--that can respond quickly without additional infrastructure. We are hopeful that NJ Transit can build on its strong relationship with NY Waterway to restore ferry service to accessible areas and expand service to other terminals to restore reliable service across the Hudson River."

"Expanding ferry service helped our region get back on its feet after 9/11 and we hope it can again after this devastating storm," they added.

The letter came immediately following a survey of Hoboken and Newark transportation facilities with U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

Full text of the letter below:

Dear Mr. Fugate, Mr. LaHood, Mr. Rogoff, Mr. Matsuda, Mr. Weinstein, and Mr. Imperatore:

We urge you to work together to expand ferry service across the Hudson River to allow more commuters to get to work. We know that extraordinary efforts are being made to restore transit service, but in the meantime we should rely more on ferry service as we did after 9/11.

The unprecedented flooding damage from Hurricane Sandy has stranded millions of commuters. Many New Jersey Transit and PATH lines into Manhattan remain closed. Even those who have access to vehicles are facing gasoline shortages and traffic delays of up to four hours on crossings into the city.

During this time, it is important to ramp up transportation services--like passenger ferries--that can respond quickly without additional infrastructure. We are hopeful that NJ Transit can build on its strong relationship with NY Waterway to restore ferry service to accessible areas and expand service to other terminals to restore reliable service across the Hudson River. FEMA and MARAD are well positioned to help expand service by providing assistance and approving other small vessels to temporarily serve as ferries.

Expanding ferry service helped our region get back on its feet after 9/11 and we hope it can again after this devastating storm. Thank you all for your incredibly hard work to help our state recover.

Sincerely,
Senator Robert Menendez
Senator Frank R. Lautenberg


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