De Blasio Announces Plan for Fast Ferries With a More Manageable Price Tag

“Since the mid-80s when ferry service started up again and through today, there have been over 70 ferry services that have been tried in the New York metropolitan area and only about 20 exist today,” Jeff Zupan, a senior fellow at the Regional Plan Association, told the Observer. But most of those disappeared because there was no public subsidy—unlike Mr. de Blasio’s plan—and without one, they weren’t profitable. “Now you have a situation where the mayor is eager to give service to people who don’t have good access to transportation. The question is how much are you willing to spend?” Mr. Zupan asked. “Some have been tried before, Rockaway and Brooklyn Army Terminal. Can you keep ridership up to make it viable?”…

Mr. Zupan said the cost of the previous Rockaway run was unsustainable, and that it was hard to imagine how many riders would be needed to pay for the service. He suggested rolling out the routes slowly to see if they are successful. “What the city should do is set some criteria to say these are how we’re going to decide if it’s successful,” he said. “If it was a slam-dunk these services would make money, they would have been done years ago.” Read the full article in the New York Observer