Thursday, February 5, 2015

Transit advocates don't want more ferries

From Capital New York:

By de Blasio's estimation, New York City is a water-bound metropolis whose rivers and harbors are underutilized resources. It's a view shared by politicians representing water-proximate neighborhoods from the Rockaways to Red Hook to Brooklyn Heights.

Transit advocates, however, greeted his pronouncements tepidly.

"In the transit community that I am a member of, ferries are looked on as being as helpful as rowboats," said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney at the Straphangers Campaign.

Jeffrey Zupan, a senior fellow for transportation at the Regional Plan Association who's a bit more ferry-positive than Russianoff, said that while it was a good thing to explore how best to further deploy ferries, caution is also in order.

"The idea of running ferry service has always been attractive ever since ferries stopped running, when we built all those bridges and tunnels," Zupan said.

But by his count, since 1986, ferry operators have tried roughly 70 different ferry routes to Manhattan, and only about 20 are still in place.

That's because most ferries move relatively few people and generally require more per-rider government subsidy than subway and bus operations.

In fact, the de Blasio administration made that very argument last year, when it decided to cancel ferry service to the Rockaways because it cost too much per rider.


Anonymous said...

How about a ferry from Fort Totten.

Anonymous said...

Di Blase has water on the brain. Big plans that sound pretty but will never happen. This is not Amsterdam Holland. We have no canals. Those bike lanes will be gone in about 2 years too.

Anonymous said...

Ferries charge too much -- cheaper (at least for now) to take the subways and buses

Anonymous said...

The subsidies for ferries are huge. If we could get subway construction cost anywhere near Tokyo or London - $500 million to $1 billion/mile of new subway - instead of our outrageous $2.4 billion/mile of new subways, we could fund the Subway to Staten Island with existing Staten Island ferry subsides.

Anonymous said...

On September 17, 1920 J P Morgan went to his office building on 23 Wall Street from Oyster Bay by ferry boat, except Italian terrorists bombed the building out of existence before he got there.

Anonymous said...

20 left? Where? In the world we live in today, they are tourist rides, not transit. Period. Waste of funding-- 100%.

Anonymous said...

Anon No. 5:

Which means what? Don't take a ferry because someone will blow up your building before you get there?