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Kris
January 8th, 2005, 07:03 AM
January 8, 2005

New Ferry Line to La Guardia Is to Begin Service by Midyear

By PATRICK McGEEHAN

Despite the financial troubles other ferry services have had, the company that takes tourists to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island plans to start running passenger boats from Manhattan to La Guardia Airport by midyear.

Circle Line Harbor Cruises intends to start running high-speed ferries every 30 minutes on weekdays from Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan to 34th Street and then to a dock near the Marine Air Terminal at the airport, J. B. Meyer, the president of the company, said. The trip would take 30 minutes and cost $25 each way, Mr. Meyer said.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey chose the company, which is not affiliated with the operator of Circle Line sightseeing cruises around Manhattan, in December. Among the other bidders was New York Waterway, which has been struggling to keep its Hudson River commuter service operating.

Establishing ferry service from downtown to New York's airports has been a pet project of Gov. George E. Pataki, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority. He said the agency was seeking proposals from companies that would run a similar service to Kennedy International Airport starting in 2006.

The governor has been an ardent advocate of linking Lower Manhattan to Kennedy by building a rail line that would connect to the Long Island Rail Road. But that project, if it happens, will take about a decade to complete. In the meantime, ferries would provide the only new route to the airports.

Circle Line would not be the first to offer business travelers an alternative to taxicabs as a way to get from the Wall Street area to La Guardia. Delta Air Lines provided a similar service, which was operated in its later years by New York Waterway, until the end of 2000, when the service closed.

The Port Authority thought there was enough demand in the late 1990's that it gave New York Waterway permission to start a second ferry to La Guardia, this one to another section of the airport. The Port Authority even budgeted $35 million in 1997 to dredge the bay north of the airport and build another terminal. But the authority dropped the plan. New York Waterway, which carries about 30,000 passengers a day from New Jersey to Manhattan, has fallen deep into debt and is trying to reorganize its operations. Its owners, the Imperatore family, are trying to work out a deal with a Manhattan lawyer, William B. Wachtel, to divide the company's routes, but the Port Authority and the federal Maritime Administration have not yet approved that plan.

Mr. Meyer said he hoped to enlist the help of Delta and several other airlines in promoting the airport ferry service. Circle Line's boats would land at a dock the company plans to build near the Marine Air Terminal, which is home to the Delta Shuttle. Travelers flying on other airlines would have to board an airport shuttle bus to reach other terminals at the airport.

Mr. Meyer estimated that the service would carry 400 to 500 passengers a day in its first year, about double the number who rode the Delta Water Shuttle. He said that he had begun talking to some of the larger employers downtown about supporting the service and that corporations and groups could receive discounts of about 20 percent of the regular fare.

"The biggest factor is you know how long it's going to take you," Mr. Meyer said. "If you take a cab into Midtown, you don't know how long it could take and it could cost you $35."

Mr. Meyer emphasized that his company would receive no subsidies from the government. Indeed, he said, it would compensate the Port Authority for use of the airport dock by sharing some of its revenue with the agency.

"This is one more mode of transportation that will take pressure off the highways and help to rebuild the economy of Lower Manhattan," Mr. Meyer said. "I think that's why the governor has wanted this kind of service."

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Derek2k3
November 22nd, 2012, 03:37 PM
What ever happened to this?

http://dgalight.com/projects/images/96711LaGuardiaFerry003.jpg
More Photos: http://dgalight.com/projects/96711LaGuardiaFerry.html

londonlawyer
November 23rd, 2012, 06:17 PM
An express subway would be even nicer.

Nexis4Jersey
November 24th, 2012, 12:14 AM
That was lumped in with the Lower Manhattan Rail Access from Long Island , Grand Central , and New Jersey , along with PATH Extension to EWR , and a few other transit projects. Even Ridership was Projected to be at least 250,000 for the Lower Manhattan Rail Access and about 45,000 for the other various Transit and Ferry Projects they haven't happen yet... It seems sadly every year we lose another project in this region...there not small Projects there huge...

londonlawyer
November 24th, 2012, 04:18 PM
It's quite a shame. Our crazy nation should spend on infrastructure instead of spending $550b/yr on the military and another $75b/yr on wars of aggression in which we slaughter 10 innocent Muslims for every 1 legitimate target.