Free Saturday Ferry Ride To Governors Island Begins
To entice Brooklynites to visit Governors Island’s historic and open space attractions a free ferry service is now available on Saturdays when scheduled programming is happening there.
The new free ferry actually is a trial service and forerunner of the growing “connectivity” between two of the city’s major ongoing construction projects: Those of the 150-acre Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC) and the 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPC). About 40 passengers were seen boarding the blue-and-white NY Waterways ferry for the inaugural trip provided by GIPEC last Saturday.
Service will take place between the Fulton Ferry Landing slip at the waterfront end of Old Fulton Street and a pier at the northeast corner of Governors Island. It’s a different pier from the one used by the regular white-painted ferry that operates from the slip at the foot of Manhattan.
Governors Island is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 11 by ferry from Manhattan. Events are listed on the Internet at www.govisland.com along with the updated Brooklyn ferry trip schedule, which will vary throughout the summer, the GIPEC advises.
On Saturday the ferry operated all day beginning with the first Brooklyn departure at 11:20 a.m. for the 20-minute ride down the East River to Governors Island, with a return trip at 11:30 a.m. for a total of 20 round trips.
The brief launching ceremony brought together the heads of two major park building projects ongoing in New York City, Leslie Koch, president of GIPEC, and Regina Myer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPC).
Koch, who rode her bicycle from her Boerum Hilll home to the Fulton Ferry pier, said GIPEC “is happy to introduce this limited service to Brooklyn residents,” adding that “in the long term our goal is to provide connectivity for passengers, bicyclists and vehicles via a new ferry landing at Atlantic Basin in Red hook and for pedestrians via a dock at Pier 6 as a part of the new Brooklyn Bridge Park.”
Myer also expressed pleasure for the supplemental ferry service for Brooklyn residents in noting that ”Today is a great step forward toward long-term connectivity between Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island.”
State Senator Daniel Squadron said the island destination “is now just a hop, skip and a free ferry ride from home for millions of Brooklynities” as it becomes a “new 21st century harbor park.”
Richard Bashner, chair of Community Board 6, said he was “thrilled to take part in the first voyage” of the ferry he views as the city’s first step in establishing ferry service to additional locations throughout the community.
By Don Evans
Brooklyn Daily Eagle