NY Waterways preparing lawsuit against US Airways after Hudson River rescue

March 16, 2009 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

Two months after NY Waterway workers became known as heroes for helping to safety passengers of downed US Airways Flight 1549 from the icy Hudson River, the cash-strapped company is suing the airline to recoup overtime paid to employees for the rescue effort.

The firm, which operates ferries between New Jersey and Manhattan, itself is in dire need to be rescued from the icy waters of bankruptcy.

“We are embattled,” Chief Executive Arthur Imperatore Sr. said, according to a report in Crain’s New York Business. “The question is whether we can survive.”

Imperatore tells the publication that ridership is down 12% in February and that revenue is off by $800,000 per month. What’s more, its lender CIT Group will not renew NY Waterways’ 3-year equipment loan when it expires in September.

The company hopes it can be rescued by a public agency such as NJ Transit or the Port Authority, arguing that commuter ferries are part of the region’s mass transit system and should be on the receiving end of public funding.

Following the plane crash, NY Waterway couldn’t run some of its routes for nearly 48 hours, paid workers overtime and incurred other expenses that it’s still assessing, Crain’s reported. Imperatore is baffled that US Airways officials have not acknowledged his company’s role.

To keep the business going, Imperatore has spent his own money, including $20 million in the past three years.

“I don’t have any more money to invest,” he said. “It’s like a bottomless pit.”
Staten Island Advance

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Entry filed under: Dive In, Public Waterfront, Region. Tags: , , .

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