New Yorkers Commute IKEA Style

<p>Lacking good public transit connections, residents of Red Hook, New York are taking advantage of the free bus and water taxi service recently launched by the Swedish retail giant to bring customers to its new store in the neighborhood.</p>
July 9, 2008, 2pm PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Think there's no such thing as a free ride? You haven't been to Red Hook lately.

Countless commuters are taking advantage of Ikea's free bus and ferry - without ever setting foot inside the giant Swedish furniture store that opened last month in the waterfront neighborhood.

The posh, coach-style shuttle buses, equipped with footrests, reading lights and music, are quickly becoming popular with travelers tired of shelling out $2 for overcrowded - and, by comparison, uncomfortable - city buses.

"It's like a free car service," said Bianca Colon, 19, who works at a summer program at Public School 27 on Huntington St. in Red Hook, and takes the bus from downtown Brooklyn near her home. "It takes us straight downtown and I don't have to wait for the bus to stop every block to let people on and off."

"Ikea had kind words for those using the free transportation. "We are thrilled that we are providing free transit options for the people of New York to come to Ikea and to come to Red Hook," said Ikea spokesman Joseph Roth. "We support mass transit, and if people are using our services and not going to Ikea, that's fine with us as well.""

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Published on Monday, July 7, 2008 in New York Daily News
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