How Long Will NYC's East River Ferry Need a Tug?

Hopes are high that the East River Ferry connecting Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan can become a viable commuting mode, while also boosting development around its landings. Although ridership is growing, some doubt if it can become self-sustaining.
September 13, 2012, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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While the priceless views and serene surroundings win raves from its few regular riders, only one year into a three-year contract subsidized to the tune of $9 million by the City of New York, "the verdict on whether the service will sustain itself is far from clear," reports Joseph Berger.

"The number of riders on the service as a whole is growing; in its first year, beginning in June 2011, 1.2 million passengers rode the ferries, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the service." But many of those riders were tourists and families out for a one-time jaunt. "But it is not yet apparent," writes Berger, "that the ferries can become a daily habit for enough people to keep New York Waterway, which operates the ferry, from losing money, as it has on some other routes."

 

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Published on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 in The New York Times
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