Ferry Service Worried About Losing Ridership

A ferry service across New York's East River that launched in June is worried about losing ridership as soon as winter begins. Summer usage was twice as many as planners had expected.
November 1, 2011, 12pm PDT | David Zeetser
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"After several failed attempts at encouraging the use of boats to commute across the East River, city officials have an unforeseen problem: too many ferry riders," according to Patrick McGeehan.

McGeehan also mentions that "the East River service is an experiment to spur development in revitalized sections of the industrial riverfront in Queens and Brooklyn. The boats connect Midtown and the financial district near Wall Street with, for the fall and winter, five spots on the east side of the river."

BillyBey Ferry Company, the provider of the ferry service is worried about losing ridership in upcoming winter months. The company will be reducing their scheduled services because, "city officials do not want to pay the operator more than the $3.1 million annual subsidy called for in a three-year contract signed this year," according to McGeehan.

The city says that their "...ultimate goal is to attract more developers to the east bank of the river."

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Published on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 in The New York Times
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