Pushing Back on Mayor de Blasio's Ferry Service Idea
Benjamin Kabak has seen ferry service pitches before, and he understands why they can be appealing to legacy-minded politicians.
"Politicians latch onto it because it’s easy. Adding ferry service doesn’t involve taking away an oh-so-precious lane of parking or — gasp! — driving and it doesn’t involve a multi-billion-dollar layout of cash that leads to disruptive and lengthy construction. It sounds good — because who doesn’t like boats? — and gets people talking because it’s different."
But it's important, according to Kabak, to remember what ferry service is not—namely, a subway. "That said, no matter how many times politicians leap to embrace ferries, the same problems remain. It is, flat out, not a substitute for subway service and, because of the scale of ridership figures and planned routing, won’t help alleviate subway congestion. If it takes a few cars off the road, so much the better, but the mayor should be looking at high capacity solutions to the city’s mobility problems."
Kabak goes on to address the shortcomings of ferry service on five points relative to the specifics of Mayor de Blasio's proposal.