Ferry bad news: Another line runs aground
Just one month after the shutdown of winter service between north Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York Water Taxi said it will suspend winter service from the 58th Street Pier in Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Army Terminal.
The company cited rising fuel costs, stagnant ridership, and insufficient public funding.
At the end of December, the company suspended its winter runs between Schaeffer Landing in Williamsburg and Fulton Ferry Landing in DUMBO with Lower Manhattan.
“[We’re] still waiting for [the city] to decide what role they want to play in supporting [ferry service],” said Tom Fox, owner of the Red Hook-based business.
The shutdowns come with a certain irony. The Bloomberg administration’s PlaNYC calls for expanded ferry service, and in March, the city’s Economic Development Corporation solicited proposals from ferry companies to provide year-round service to three new ferry landings in Greenpoint and Williamsburg — but to date the city has not provided any direct subsidies for the service.
Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) said the lack of city subsidies “boggles the mind.” Other forms of mass transit do get public subsidies. But ferry service has not proven to be a “mass” transit at all — only a few dozen people rode Fox’s boats across the East River to Manhattan daily.
By Dana Rubinstein