September 27, 2004
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, former Staten Island Borough President Guy V. Molinari, United States Senator Charles Schumer, Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall and former United States Representative Susan Molinari today welcomed the Guy V. Molinari to New York Harbor. The 310-foot vessel joined DOT’s seven-boat fleet at a ceremony at the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island.
“I am pleased to welcome the Guy V. Molinari to its new home,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The boat is named for a tireless public servant and Staten Island’s favorite son and I am sure the Molinari will be just as much of a workhorse for the people of Staten Island as Guy has been. Guy served our City, State and Country for decades and made an enormous contribution to Staten Island. The ferry that bears his name is the first of three new boats that are equipped with the latest technology and are the safest and most comfortable boats in the history of the fleet.”
The $40 million vessel can carry up to 4,500 passengers and was built by Manitowoc Marine Group in Marinette, Wisconsin. Over the next few months, the boat will receive its final preparations for operation, the crew will be trained and the Coast Guard will certify it for use in New York Harbor. Two more boats are under construction and expect to be in use by the fall of 2005. This new generation of vessels replaces the three Kennedy class boats that have been operating for 40 years.
“If you spend more than two decades of public service on Staten Island, there is no greater honor you can receive than having a Staten Island Ferry boat bear your name,” said former Borough President Molinari. “I will be eternally grateful to Mayor Bloomberg for according such a great honor to me, my family and friends.”
“If ever there was a Mr. Staten Island, it is Guy Molinari,” said Senator Schumer. “There is not a name more deserving to go on this ferry than Guy’s”
“This is a happy and historic day for Staten Island,” said Borough President Molinaro. “It is a day to celebrate the arrival of the first in a new fleet of ferryboats and to pay tribute to Guy V. Molinari, whose contributions to Staten Island are immeasurable. I applaud Mayor Michael Bloomberg for recognizing Guy in this way by naming this boat after him.”
“We are pleased that the Guy V. Molinari – the first of our three new ferry boats – is now in New York Harbor, and we are confident that this majestic new boat will serve our passengers well,” said Commissioner Weinshall.
The Guy V. Molinari is equipped with the latest in marine technology including radar, collision avoidance, communications and GPS navigation systems. The pilothouses are fully equipped to monitor and control all vital on-board systems and have been designed to meet the unique operating requirements of New York Harbor. The vessel is propelled by a 9,000 horsepower three-engine, diesel electric power plant. The Molinari has a unique steering control system that allows the rudders and the ten foot propellers on each end of the vessel to be operated independently, providing exceptional maneuverability enhanced passenger comfort, on-time performance, fuel efficiency and emissions control. The boat is equipped with four high-speed rescue boats that are outfitted to allow for rapid deployment.
The City’s Percent for Art Program commissioned Werner Klotz and John Roloff to create an artwork for the new ferryboat. The multi-media permanent installation, entitled The Middle of the World, features a portal in the bridge deck through which passengers can view a video of the ocean floor as the ferry travels between Staten Island and Manhattan. Surrounding the portal, passengers can hear 101 recorded tales of the sea, one for each trip the ferry makes weekly. The artwork received the New York City Art Commission’s 2002 award
Guy V. Molinari was Staten Island Borough President from 1990 to 2001 and, throughout his nearly 30 years of public service, worked in all levels of government in New York State. Molinari was a New York State Assemblyman from 1975 to 1980, and as a United States Congressman from 1981 to1989. He is now of counsel to the Staten Island law firm, Russo, Scamardella and D’Amato. He and his wife, Marguerite, are the parents of former Untied States Representative Susan Molinari and have two granddaughters.
The Staten Island Ferry transports 65,000 passengers a day on the five-mile ride between St. George Terminal on Staten Island and Whitehall Terminal in Manhattan. The boats operate 24-hours a day, 365-days a year and have been a vital municipal service since 1905.