NYC Ferry takes express route from Bay Ridge to Wall Street, testing morning commute

Wednesday, March 8, 2023
NYC Ferry tests express route from Bay Ridge to Wall Street
It was a trial run for the morning commute to see how many people actually use it. Derick Waller reports from Bay Ridge.

BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The New York City Ferry is undergoing major expansion on Wednesday, as the service tests an express route from Bay Ridge to Wall Street.

The first express ferry departed from Bay Ridge at 6:32 a.m. and the last one departs at 9:58 a.m. It was a trial run for the morning commute to see how many people actually use it.

Mayor Eric Adams could be seen taking a joy ride at 8:12 a.m., with a ticket in his hand and his headphones in.

Ferry maps show the weekday morning commute ferry from Bay Ridge skipping three stops, then making one stop at Atlantic Avenue, and then Wall Street.

At around 10 a.m., it went back to making all the stops.

Thankfully for riders, the 23-minute express commute can be enjoyed indoors on the ferry.

"It's a nice ride in the summer, in the nice weather, but in the winter, it's impossible to stand out here in the wind. It's freezing," rider Ed Morgan said.

He noted that complaints about broken heat lamps on the ferry have fallen on deaf ears.

"I'm not aware of that at this stop, but New Yorkers are brave souls. It's a beautiful day. They love being out on the water and they love getting to work faster," EDC President and CEO Andrew Kimball said.

The new services comes as ridership rises, especially in recent months and above pre-pandemic levels. This is all happening even after the price for the ferry went up to $4 a ride last September.

It used to be $2.75, but that did not account for the true cost.

A scathing comptroller's report found the de Blasio administration underreported just how much the service was losing. The report found "poor fiscal management" at the city agency that runs the ferry.

In Fiscal Year 2021, the subsidy from city taxpayers amounted to about $12.88 per ticket.

"15,000 New Yorkers a day are using this service. It's all about efficiency and how we run these routes and that's part of what today is about," Kimball said on Wednesday.

They are hoping more people will take a ride, but questions about the long-term financial viability of this service still linger.

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