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Thread: New York Water Taxi Ferries

  1. #106

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    From the Brooklyn side, it is likely that many people drive to the landing.

  2. #107
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    I use it to go from Long Island City to the Brooklyn Bridge park area on some Sundays. They have a parking lot by the ferry stop that charges $5, but it's pointless with plenty of free weekend parking on the desolate industrial streets

  3. #108
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    Same headline as this time last year.


    East River Ferry service extended until 2019
    by Andrew J. Hawkins


    NY Waterway ferries will continue to transport East River commuters under a new deal with the city.
    Photo: Buck Ennis


    For the city's maritime commuters, it’s a ferry tale come true.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg today will announce a five-year extension of the East River ferry service, which was launched as a pilot project in June 2011 at a cost of about $3 million per year in city subsidies, and had been set to expire in June 2014.

    Reached by phone Thursday, Paul Goodman, CEO of NY Waterway, which operates the ferry service, confirmed the five-year extension before directing The Insider to his firm’s spokesman, who did not immediately return a request for comment.

    The extension comes with a few caveats. Fares for weekend service will increase to $6 from $4. Winter weekend service will decrease as well. Currently, 149 passenger vessels operate during peak hours, which is defined as weekdays from 6:45 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.

    Last year, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said that the ferries could lose ridership if fares were increased. But in a statement to The Insider, she declined to address that issue.

    "I’m thrilled that the East River ferry will continue to provide millions of commuters with a fast, green way to navigate our City’s waterfront communities,” said Ms. Quinn. “I thank Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Economic Development Corporation for working with the Council to make the East River Ferry a tremendous success and for ensuring its continued future in our city."

    The city’s Economic Development Corporation began seeking bids to extend service last December after initial reports revealed that traffic on the ferries was vastly exceeding expectations, especially after Superstorm Sandy sidelined the subway system. The number of riders were twice what was projected, and weekend ferries had to turn some passengers away because of increased demand.

    On Friday, Mr. Bloomberg will announce that ferry ridership has tripled since 2011. Service has been popular in areas like north Brooklyn, where subway service is distant or limited, and waterfront apartment towers have been built. Ferry supporters have also cited occasional shutdowns of the subway system as a rationale for the boats.

    Roland Lewis, CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, says the extension of service for five years speaks well to the city’s commitment to ferries as an alternate means of transportation. But that was not always the case, he said.

    “The city, since the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, refused to subsidize ferry service,” Mr. Lewis said. “We crossed the line with the first pilot and it was great. And now this is a recognition of the utility and worth of waterborne transit.”

    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...GS04/131219947

  4. #109
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    That ferry ain't on the East River ...

  5. #110
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    It is on the East River route if it's going from Governor's Island (seasonal) to Wall Street

  6. #111
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    City Eyes $10M-a-Year East River Ferry Expansion

    By Heather Holland

    MANHATTAN — New stops could be on the way for the East River Ferry — but only if the city or a private ferry company is willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to get the new routes up and running, according to a new report.

    The New York City Economic Development Corporation released a preliminary Citywide Ferry Study this week suggesting 11 new stops along five additional ferry routes, including East 23rd Street and Grand Street in Manhattan, Astoria in Queens and St. George on Staten Island.

    "The study has focused on identifying the most promising potential routes, but these routes require considerable capital and operating subsidies," the 115-page report states.

    "An extended network including the East River Ferry [and new routes] would be estimated to require an annual subsidy for weekday service of close to $10 million."

    In addition to costing $10 million a year to run, the 11 new stops would also require an $80 million capital investment to build docking stations, including barges, ticketing machines, benches and bike racks, the report found.

    The EDC initially considered 58 potential new ferry stops, including some based on suggestions from the community, but decided that just 11 spots were viable: Van Brunt Street in Red Hook; Bay Ridge; Astoria Cove; Roosevelt Island South; Long Island City North, Soundview in The Bronx; East 62nd Street; East 23rd Street; Grand Street; St. George on Staten Island and Beach 108th/116th Street in Queens, according to the report.

    The EDC is also looking into ways to bring ferry service to LaGuardia Airport, either through Bowery Bay or Flushing Bay in Queens. It was not immediately clear how much the LaGuardia route would cost.

    Each route would require three to four boats during peak periods. The subsidy estimate is designed to keep the fare cost at no more than $5, the report said.

    The next step for the expanded ferry service would be for elected officials, private ferry companies and the community to begin discussing the routes and how to pay for them, the EDC stated in the report.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on increased ferry service.

    In December, the city announced that it had extended its East River Ferry contract until 2019. The service was initially designed as a three-year pilot slated to end in June 2014.

    The East River Ferry currently shuttles riders from Long Island City and Brooklyn to Midtown and Lower Manhattan for $4 one way, or $140 for an unlimited monthly pass. The city spends about $3 million per year to subsidize the route.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/2014...erry-expansion

  7. #112
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    Despite the issues, I still think it's a shame that this mode of transport has not been embraced more.

    Completely different cities and therefore no comparison, of course, but I've often thought the same thing about Perth. We have only one ferry route.

    Unless you're lucky enough to have a bus stop right outside your front door, most people are going to have to walk/travel a certain distance to get to a bus stop/subway station/ferry terminal.


    Thoughts on the political popularity of ferries

    By Benjamin Kabak


    More ferry terminals may pop up around the water, but to what end? (Photo by East River Ferry on flickr)

    Whether we recognize it or not, New York City is facing something of a transportation crisis. The problem itself won’t come to a true head for a while, but outside of a few avenues, our current transit options are nearly maxed out. Our roads are continually congested, and without significant expansion, the subway system can’t withstand too many more trains — or passengers — per hour during peak times. Buses and a real bus rapid transit network could pick up some slack, but lately the focus has turned to the city’s myriad waterways.

    For much of the 2013 mayoral campaign, we heard candidates from various parties talk endlessly about the opportunities for expanded ferry service. It sounds good, right? These are politicians actually promoting increased transit, and at a time when subway construction is exceedingly expensive and no one at the MTA is willing to try to rein in those costs, sticking some boats on the water seems downright economically responsible. It is but a political smoke screen as well, and I’ll get to that shortly.

    Lately, the jockeying for ferries has come from the local level. Ydanis Rodriguez, the new chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, has been agitating for more ferry service for his constituents even though most of them live on a bluff high above the nearest coast. Now, Queens reps are calling for more ferry service too. The Queens Chronicle reports:

    The words “commute” and “New York City” usually make one think of squeaky, dirty, crowded subway cars snaking through tunnels and along elevated rails. Or perhaps one conjures up thoughts of passengers packed into buses like sardines or jockeying for room under bus shelters. Some, especially out here in Queens, may think of a commute as idling on a packed highway in a car. One thing that most New Yorkers may not think of — unless maybe you’re from Staten Island — is boats…

    The expansion of ferry service to the East River in 2011, connecting Wall Street and East 34th Street with Brooklyn and Long Island City, has also proved successful, as has a route to the Rockaways that was originally meant to be temporary. Now ferry advocates — and elected officials — are looking to expand service to other parts of Queens with waterfront connections.

    …Already expansion beyond Long Island City and Rockaway may be imminent. According to one source, expansion of the East River ferry to Astoria is “more than likely,” and former Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. allocated money toward a feasibility study. Vallone’s successor, Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), said bringing ferry service farther north to Astoria would be a boon for the Western Queens waterfront, especially if they add a stop on Roosevelt Island, where a tech school is slated to be located. “We can find the money for this worthwhile cause,” said Constantinides, a member of the Council’s Transportation Committee. He pointed to Hallets Cove as a location for a ferry, noting the amount of development taking place there and the need for more public transportation.

    Throughout the article, Queens politicians and ferry advocates discuss the success of the Rockaway boats and potential landing spots in College Point, Willets Point, Fort Totten or downtown Flushing. One quote in particular sums up the thinking. “We’re on the right path with expanding bus rapid transit and bike lines and now with ferries,” Constantinides said. “We’re not building any more subways. Better utilizing the city’s waterways is the new frontier.”

    I have such major issues with this defeatist attitude toward subway construction. We’re giving up because politicians aren’t strong enough to fight back against rampant cost issues or, in the case of Constantinides’ own district, intense NIMBY opposition to a plan that would have brought the subway to Laguardia Airport. We can’t throw in the towel on future subway construction and expect New York to be able to grow. Ferries won’t cut it.

    Meanwhile, the comments and coverage concerning ferries fail to make note of the issues of scale. The Rockaway ferry may be a success, but that’s with ridership of 700 per day. One peak-hour subway carries at least twice, and sometimes three times, that amount from Queens or Brooklyn into Manhattan. Ferries can help out around the edges; they can’t affect transformative change or do much to alleviate the transit capacity problems plaguing New York.

    The single biggest issue with any New York City ferry network concerns population patterns. New York of the 20th century built inland and, thanks to Robert Moses, rung its waterways with roads. Not too many people live near potential ferry terminals, and not too many work near them either. So a ferry network also involves getting people to and from the terminals, and with fares not unified, such a setup currently involves a steep added cost per day. Most New Yorkers would rather take a crowded train than add $3-$5 per day to their commuting costs.

    Furthermore, nearly every place in New York City that is well suited for ferry service already has it. The East River ferries offer relatively quick commutes to areas where people work. Many of the folks who live in uber-expensive waterfront condos in DUMBO, Williamsburg and Long Island City work near Wall Street. Travel patterns shift as one moves further east in Brooklyn and Queens.

    But there are political forces at work here that account for the popularity of the boat movement. First, there are no NIMBYs to battle. Some people may object to a nearby ferry terminal and the noise from the boats, but it doesn’t engender the same level of protest that a new subway line or removing a lane of automobile traffic for bus rapid transit would. Second, the costs of starting a ferry line are relatively low and turnaround time is short. Thus, a politician can propose a ferry route, secure funding and attend a ribbon-cutting in a single term while proclaiming to be pro transit. Never mind the fact that, at most, a wildly successful ferry with 4000 daily riders services half of one-tenth of a percent of all New Yorkers. It’s an easy political win.

    So we’re stuck in a boat rut. It may make limited sense to examine some ferry routes, but the most they can do is shuffle the deck chairs on the Titanic that is the subway system. Without high-capacity expansion, trains will be more crowded than ever before, and New York City will face growth constraints. It would take real leadership to tackle this problem; the ferries are simply a smokescreen.

    http://secondavenuesagas.com/2014/03...ty-of-ferries/

  8. #113
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    Suggestion to Mods:

    Could the title of this thread be modified to make it for all ferries?


    All Five Boroughs May Get Affordable Ferry Service

    February 3, 2015, by Zoe Rosenberg


    [Curbed Flickr Pool / hoyachicknyc]

    This morning Mayor de Blasio delivered his annual State of the City address, and amongst the barrage of information he laid on the table was an announcement that the city will dramatically increase its ferry service by 2017. Although the move may seem contrary to the city's earlier attitude against ferries—they did suspend Rockaway Ferry service practically overnight, after all—DNAinfo reports that the decision to subsidize the waterborne transportation method comes from a need to expand beyond the subways as New York's population grows. In addition to routes from Rockaway, service will expand to include Astoria, Long Island City, Red Hook, Brooklyn Army Terminal, the Lower East Side and Soundview in the Bronx. While the expanded service is exciting, its also really, really exciting that rides will cost as much as a trip on the subway.

    Not everyone is pro-ferry though. StreetsBlog, which thinks about transportation pretty much all day, thinks increasing bus rapid transit would be a lot more beneficial to the city than expanded ferry service.

    Proposed Routes for NYC's Expanded Ferry Service. by DNAinfoNewYork

    New Ferries Coming to Rockaway, Astoria, The Bronx, LES and Brooklyn [DNA]
    $200 Million From the City to Develop...New Ferries... [W2tB]
    Bus Rapid Transit, Not Ferry Subsidies, Would Help Struggling New Yorkers [SB]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/0...ry_service.php

  9. #114

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    Ferry service only works for people who live and work near the waterfront. I do, and let me tell you it's the only way to chose to get to Greenpoint from Manhattan. Still it will require quite a subsidy, especially if they want it to cost the same as a MetroCard (though by 2017 it might be closer to $4 anyway). It's just one of those Catch 22s of urban transportation.

  10. #115
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    Even with a hefty subsidy, a metrocard fare for ferry service has to be doubled for a passenger not commuting within walking distance of the ferry stop. They need to pay for the ferry and then for the bus/subway. The dream for commuters is free transfers from ferries to buses & subways, which also happens to be the nightmare for taxpayers

  11. #116
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    Venice on the East River

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's upstream battle for citywide ferry service.

    by Henry Melcher


    Juha Uitto / Flickr

    Before New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his second State of the City address, it was widely expected that he would focus the address almost entirely on housing policy. He did speak at length about his ambitious plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. But it was a major transportation policy unveiled near the end of the address that surprised onlookers and made headlines.

    “Transportation is central to the mission of providing affordable housing and services—connecting neighborhoods in the five boroughs to New York’s largest job centers,” said the mayor. Building these connections, he continued, could be achieved by taking advantage of the water with a five-borough ferry system.

    This system would launch in 2017 with routes that connect Manhattan to Queens, South Brooklyn, and the Rockaways. The following year, ferries would run along Manhattan’s Lower East Side and between Manhattan and Soundview in the Bronx. Another route connecting Coney Island, Staten Island, and the Financial District is still in the planning stages. The administration has said that work is slated to begin this year on the $55 million process of designing and building the system’s docks; the city will also select private ferry operators to run the service. When completed, the ferries will accommodate 4.6 million trips a year, according to the mayor’s office.

    Like many of de Blasio’s urbanism proposals, this one was born under his predecessor. In 2008, Michael Bloomberg worked with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to create a framework for a citywide ferry network that includes many of the sites seen in de Blasio’s plan. The Bloomberg administration ultimately only moved forward with the East River Ferry. That service launched in 2011 as a pilot program and has been providing service between Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island City for $4 a ride ever since. The ferry has been hugely popular, but still requires a significant subsidy—$2.22 per trip, according to a 2013 study commissioned by the EDC. (For comparison, there is a $0.62 subsidy for each subway ride.)


    The proposed system could launch in 2017 with routes connecting Manhattan to Queens, South Brooklyn, and the Rockaways.
    Courtesy Office of the Mayor of New York City

    The de Blasio administration has said the new system would require between $10 million and $20 million in annual subsidies and that a ferry ride would cost as much as taking the subway or bus. Critics of the mayor’s plan say that the city’s money would be better spent on other transit programs like bus rapid transit that could reach lower-income New Yorkers who do not live near the water. (In his State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio also pledged to complete an additional 13 BRT lines.)

    Creating and sustaining a viable city-wide ferry system—even with considerable subsidies baked in—will not be easy to pull off, said Jeff Zupan, a senior fellow at the Regional Planning Association who has been studying New York City ferries for decades. In that time, he has seen plenty of ferry attempts fail. Just last fall, the de Blasio administration discontinued ferry service to the Rockaways that was set up after Superstorm Sandy because it was costing the city about $30 a passenger.

    Zupan is skeptical that the new Rockaway iteration—or any of de Blasio’s planned routes for that matter—will fare much better. To be successful, he explained, ferries must provide a quick and efficient ride between people’s home and office. This is most feasible when ferries run between densely populated areas (think Hoboken to Lower Manhattan) where it is easy to get to and from a dock and then onto a final destination. Short distances also make matters easier because riders are enticed with a faster trip and ferry operators can run fewer boats while still maintaining frequent and reliable service. Many of de Blasio’s proposed routes do not have this built-in advantage.

    “They are not all going to be dogs,” said Zupan referring to de Blaiso’s planned routes, “but they do not have all the features you want to look for. If they had all the features, these would have been done long ago because these ideas have been around for a long time.”

    But Zupan noted that the resurgent waterfront, with apartment towers sprouting up one after the other, has buoyed the mayor’s plan. The glossy buildings may offer great views, but are typically a hike from transit options. Citywide ferries could be a major boon to developers already eager to build near the water. The mayor’s office did not respond to AN’s question about whether it would ask developers to contribute funds for the ferry system.

    Ultimately, the mayor’s five-borough plan is a kit of parts with only some routes seeming positioned to succeed. But what will happen to some, or all, of the ferries cannot be known until the boats hit the water. “You can never really know until you try it,” said Zupan.

    http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=7909

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