Sunday, May 11, 2008

New Ferry Service Starts Monday - 5/12

The $6 ferry from the Brooklyn Army Terminal starts tomorrow, Monday the 12th of May. It has two trips (so far?) each way. The AM shift is at 6:25 and 8:25, and the PM shift is 4:30 and 6:30. According to The Brooklyn Paper, the trip from Sunset Park (NOT starting from the Rockaways; that will take you an hour) will only take 20 minutes. Hmmm. I guess it doesn't count boarding time and launching time. Then again, perhaps everything is much more organized than I imagine. I'm going to withhold judgment until I hear how the ferry actually works out with timing and logistics. I'm tempted to take my stroller-pushing self onto the early ferry just to check it out. Maybe on a particularly warm, pleasant day. Anyone want to do a boat-trip?

Another juicy detail from The Brooklyn Paper's article is that a 40 ticket book will get you a 10% discount - but you have to cough up the $216 all at once to get the fare to $5.40 per trip. I suppose it also requires some faith that the ferry will be around for at least a month. At least it brings it closer to the express bus price of $5 per trip.

Be wary of checking out the NY Water Taxi Website for reliable information. Unless my tap water via Brita filter is spiked with something fun, my reading of the website says something very different from the ever-reliable Brooklyn Paper. As I read it, it says that it leaves Pier 11 in Manhattan at 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM. That seems very silly.

Some criticisms of the new commuter ferry include the timing of the sparse launches. Considering the cost, my guess is the ferry customer working in or very near lower Manhattan is going to be a trader-type. My experience with trading floors is a 7 AM start (it was an international bank). Sounds like 6:45 AM would work out. If you're like me, you'd prefer 6:30 AM to get some coffee and a sticky bun, but I doubt most traders are like me. Another random criticism (from The Daily News, but I'm not even going to bother linking to it) was the inclusion of Sunset Park in the commute. I suppose if the ferry is full of Queens Commuters, that would make sense. However, there has been a tentative optimism, at best, regarding this whole "new" ferry service. It's a two-year subsidy commitment (so they say), so attempting to fill the ferry is probably a good idea. I wonder why they're not stopping at Seagate?

There was also the mention of a ferry service for the summer taking Sunset Park and Bay Ridge residents (and whoever else wants to, I suppose) TO Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways for sunning and fun. Won't THAT thrill Riis Park goers. More of South Brooklyn there! It's a very nice beach, however. Worth a visit. And if the price is $6, it's also worth the time-saver and train to the bus combo on a hot day. Driving involves a parking fee (in-season) and the hassle of the Belt. We'll see if it materializes.

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