From the NY Times:
All the while, developers welcomed the service — just a quick jaunt to Manhattan, with tickets $3 to $5.50 — as an amenity in marketing expensive condos on the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts.
But eight months later, the operator of the ferry service, New York Water Taxi, says that it has not been able to come to an agreement with the city about continuing the subsidy, and that it might have to halt the East River commuter service for the third time in four years. Further, the city’s Economic Development Corporation said that because of the recession, plans to expand the ferry service on the East River have been delayed for at least a year, until spring 2011.
...the threat of another winter of canceled service has left many to wonder, and has added to fears that the longer ferries are seen as unreliable, the less New Yorkers will see them as a viable means of transportation.
It is unwelcome news for a small but loyal group of riders who have come to rely on the ferry service as an alternative to the busy subway lines that feed neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Many of the passengers live in luxury developments like Schaefer Landing. Privately, officials say they would feel more comfortable putting money into a service with more stops and a broader cross section of passengers.
To operate the East River route, New York Water Taxi needs about $900,000 in subsidies each year, city officials say, aid that becomes crucial during the winter, when ridership — which peaks in the summer at about 4,350 passengers per month — falls by about half.
4 more years of giving lots of taxpayer money toward things that only benefit developers and tower people. Hooray!