Smooth sailing would improve boro’s transit needs
BY ALEX MITCHELL
Who could have possibly imagined
that a cost effi cient, expedient waterway
travel mode would win over the
land and sea legs of Bronxites and New
Yorkers just about everywhere?
Currently, the popular $2.75 per ride
vessels are far from covering the service’s
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Comptroller Scott Stringer, earlier
this month said that Hornblower
Cruises, the city’s private seacraft partner,
takes “millions in revenue” away
from NYC and its Economic Development
Adding insult to injury, this week
alone the fi nancially sinking service
also faced major interruptions due to
overcrowding (sound familiar to another
city transit entity?) as result of
the pleasant weather city dwellers are
Hornblower’s private waterway
ventures concentrate more around the
Hudson River than the East, shuffl ing
passengers around the sights of downtown
Manhattan and the Upper New
York Bay of Brooklyn.
Keep in mind; the service has
a planned, northeast expansion to
Throggs Neck’s Ferry Point Park in
addition to other locations. So for the
most part, the service will be treading
in new waters.
Stringer proposes that NYC Department
of Transportation launch a mutiny
on the NYC waterway, throwing
Hornblower’s contract with the Big Apple
overboard so that the city can collect
more of the revenue the maritime
Since DOT runs the Staten Island
Ferry, the agency is already exposed
at least ankle deep to the nautical demands
of the city.
The Bronx perspective on the ferry
system’s future simply comes down to
this: Do whatever it takes to resolve the
borough’s transit needs the quickest!
Given the Metro-North Railroad’s
east Bronx expansion to Hunts Point,
Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park
and Co-op City, the addition of a succcessful
ferry service would create the
opportunity to turn a few Bronx transit
wastelands into desirable locations offering
multiple transit options.
While landlocked Parkchester and
Morris Park may not reap a full benefi
t, secured funding for additional
ferry stops in Hunts Point and Co-op
City would be novel to the borough in
Co-op City residents suffer the longest
commutes to Manhattan; after the
evidential 45-minute trip from Soundview
to Wall Street, there aren’t many
opposing the ferry concept in the east
Hunts Point could then be linked to
Manhattan in ways that were not feasible
years ago. Nothing brings economic
development quicker than speedy transit
Ferry Point, the one east Bronx
community that is already on the drawing
board for a ferry stop, could also be
used for another purpose - cross river
access to LaGuardia Airport.
Given that the Queens airport already
has a marine terminal with dock
space, utilizing the East River from
Throggs Neck or even Soundview could
be the public transit asset that is long
overdue for the borough.
So NYC, it’s up to you now; right
the ship and give the Bronx what it deserves.
The Soundview ferry stop. Schneps Community News Group/ Patrick Rocchio