New East River Ferry Service to Launch in May

Photo: Heath Brandon via Flickr.
Photo: Heath Brandon ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/heathbrandon/3615777812/##via Flickr.##

Big news from today’s Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance conference: a new city-subsidized ferry service will begin crossing the East River in May. City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden announced that the new service will run for at least two years, departing at least every fifteen minutes during rush hour.

Making the ferry service possible, said Burden, were the series of rezonings that have spurred growth along the transit-poor waterfront, creating a pool of potential customers. Accordingly, the service will begin by serving Hunters Point South, Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg, Fulton Ferry, and both Downtown and Midtown Manhattan.

We’ll bring you more information about the ferry plans as it becomes available.

  • MRN

    ugh, what about Red Hook/Columbia waterfront? For folks in Carroll Gardens too, there is basically no access to Financial District without transferring from the F to the A/C; which is pretty slow. It was faster for me to walk a mile to Borough Hall. Ferry off columbia to South Ferry what have been aces

  • Julee

    These are routes already covered by NY Waterway – what am I missing here? Is this just an increased in service?

    And yeah what about people in Carroll Gardens and in Redhook – there is no access to FIDI – you ahve to walk a mile north OR take the F to the A to 4 or 5 – which takes forever! There was supposed to be a ferry in Brooklyn Heights as well on Joralemon – there should be something between Kane and Carrrol streets – the Ferry in Redhook is much to far for these folks to get to…

  • Larry Littlefield

    “For folks in Carroll Gardens too, there is basically no access to Financial District without transferring from the F to the A/C; which is pretty slow.”

    You should be able to transfer to the R at Jay Street/Borough Hall any day now.

  • Kristen

    Would love to know if we’ll be able to bring bikes to the ferry.

  • Allow bikes!

  • JK

    How much is the subsidy? What agency is paying for it? What is the projected per ride subsidy?

    Just wondering, since the city is continually reducing its contribution to MTA buses and subways.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m fine with ferries, except for this: buses, primarily used by the poor, are being cut back as ferries, primarily used by the affluent, are now to be subsidized.

    It’s exactly what I feared about Governor’s Island becoming a city park. Budget stress would limit access to those who could afford to pay for water transportation to get there. Meanwhile, the need to maintain it would divert shrinking Parks Department money from facilties in poor neighborhoods.

    Perhaps there is some deal where the new apartment buildings will subsidize the ferry. After all they have property tax exemptions for years and years. I could just hope so.

  • BicyclesOnly

    Why is there never commuter ferry service at the beautiful spanking new ferry dock at ~E.90th Street? Aside from about 20 runs a year to Mets games or Cirque du Soleil performances, it sits idle.

  • JK

    Bicycles Only, nobody knows how to operate small scale ferry service without truly massive per ride subsidies. This is why E. 90th St is underused. The only way these East River waterfront ferries could have been sustained is if the city required a subsidy stream from the developer/owners of these new residential towers as part of rezoning. We’ve seen this ferry movie a dozen times now. It begins with some federal grants for the ferry boats and docks, then EDC subsidies for awhile, and then the service goes away. There is an element of fantasy about these ferry service because they never come close to being fiscally sustainable. Larry Littlefield is absolutely right to be concerned about cost-shifting from working class transit riders to luxury condo dwellers.

  • I’ve long fantasized about a ferry service that would between the Dyckman St marina in Inwood and stops in midtown and downtown.

  • Urbanis, they have a kind of ferry that gets from Dyckman St to Port Authority in 28 minutes. It’s called a subway, and it’s airconditioned and underground, so it runs in all weather.

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