The mayorally controlled city Economic Development Corporation diverted tens of millions of dollars in rent receipts from publicly owned Times Square real estate holdings to help operate the costly NYC Ferry system, the corporation’s latest financial filings show.
Budget statements prepared for the EDC’s Wednesday morning board meeting show just $28 million in 42nd Street and other proceeds being sent to the city treasury for the fiscal year that ended June 30. That’s down from $125 million in 2014 and $103 million in 2016.
Mayor Bill de Blasio launched NYC Ferry in 2017, heralding its arrival as “a new day for our city.”
The ferry system racked up $53 million in net costs for EDC in fiscal year 2020, the new numbers indicate, as it did in 2019. The watchdog Citizens Budget Commission a year ago calculated that with passengers paying just $2.75 a ride, each ferry trip costs the government $9.34 a ride.
State Sen. John Liu (D-Queens), who as city comptroller slammed EDC in 2010 in an audit that found it had failed to deliver more than $125 million owed to city taxpayers, said he now believes EDC should be abolished — calling it “a slush fund for whoever runs City Hall.”