Mayor's city ferry service rocks the boat in Red Hook

Mayor Bill de Blasio's plans for citywide ferry service have some people concerned about jobs being eliminated in Red Hook and throughout the city. New York Water Taxi has operated for years between

News 12 Staff

Mar 19, 2016, 2:33 AM

Updated 2,949 days ago

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Mayor's city ferry service rocks the boat in Red Hook
Mayor Bill de Blasio's plans for citywide ferry service have some people concerned about jobs being eliminated in Red Hook and throughout the city.
New York Water Taxi has operated for years between Ikea in Red Hook and Manhattan, and in other New York waterways. The company says it will shut down by the end of this year because it won't be able to compete with the price of new proposed ferry routes.
"The employees who are working right now for the water taxi, what is going to happen to them?" asks state Democratic Assemblyman Felix Ortiz. "What is their outlook?"
Ortiz says the mayor's deal for expanded ferry service throughout the city was seemingly made with little input from the community, and it may cost 200 current ferry employees their jobs.
De Blasio announced on Wednesday a six-year contract with San Francisco-based Hornblower Inc., which currently runs cruises to the Statue of Liberty. The city plans to have three new routes serving Brooklyn and Queens by the summer of 2017 and two more routes to the Bronx and the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 2018. 
Rides on the new ferries will cost $2.75, the same as a one-way subway trip.
The mayor's office gave the following statement in response to Ortiz's concerns: "We believe there is room in our city for multiple ferry operators providing many different types of services, and we look forward to working with Assemblyman Ortiz to ensure that his constituents can access good ferry jobs, including the more than 155 new jobs Citywide Ferry Service will create."
The exact ferry stops are uncertain at this time.
Associated Press reports contributed to this story.


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