Saturday, September 15, 2012

When will the City end this experiment?

From the NY Times:

“It’s about having a fun commute,” she said, as she wheeled her bicycle off the ferry arriving at 4:10 p.m. at the India Street pier in Greenpoint. “The wind in your hair, watching the skyline come toward you as you approach Midtown and getting to see New York from this vantage point.”

But she was one of only three people to get off that ferry. And the same number got on.

Even at the start of the 5 p.m. rush hour, the commuters getting off and on could be counted on one hand. Though the numbers are more robust during the morning rush hours — on Monday, 14 people caught the 8:39 ferry to Pier 11 near Wall Street and 21 caught the 8:40 to East 34th Street — they still raise questions about the popularity and profitability of the service as a whole. The ferries can hold 149 passengers.

Riders almost universally love the seven-stop ferry service, and the city has bet $9 million in subsidies that over a three-year contract, the service will win converts and prompt development in the vicinities of five ferry landings along the reviving industrial waterfront in Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Long Island City, Queens. But after more than a year of operations, the verdict on whether the service will sustain itself is far from clear.


Anonymous said...

Seems to me over time the routes selected do not ever attract the masses to even break even. Providing 9 million over years is a folly. Allow operators licenses to operate routes of their choice (determining markets based on a private plan) and let them fly on their own. This is not a charity business - the operators know the cost of running these boats are costly up front. Do we subsidize restaurants to open and run around town - of course not and most after a costly renovation. rent and payroll are met fail to make it - the ferry's should operate on the same basis.

Anonymous said...

Bloomberg seriously thinks
that all of his "great" ideas have improved NYC.

He's nuts!

They might work in some other parts of the world,
but what kind of world is he living in?

Follies such as ferry boats and bike lanes, etc. are some of Mike's costly urban fantasies that really haven't worked out very well.

Anonymous said...

$$$$$ is running out.......forget need copper jacketed lead,as in bullets to survive!!!!

Gary the Agnostic said...

The ferries and most of the bicycle paths will disappear when Bloomberg (and Sadik-Khan) go away.

Anonymous said...

but we've paid for their installation and we'll pay again for their removal!

Gary the Agnostic said...

Anon No. 5:

Very true!

Anonymous said...

Ummm, you do know that ferries used to be all over the rivers in NYC, right?

And that all the bike lanes the current DOT commissioner has installed (at the request of the local communities, by the way) have cost the City only $2 million.

Queens Crapper said...

Key words are "used to." Outdated transportation now. Takes way too long to get from point A to point B.

Only $2m for bike lanes, eh? How many cops or teachers could we have hired for $2m?

Anonymous said...

For the ferries to actually be used, they would have to be adjacent to the subway or major bus lines on the Brooklyn/Queens side.

Anonymous said...

Can we have our $9 mill back now?


The taxpayers of the outer boroughs