Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Will the Sunset Ferry Ever Return?

According to our local newspaper the Sunset News New York Water Taxi has suspended ferry service from the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier. The word suspended appears to mean that it might come back. Several things about the article stuck out at me. One was the fact that they could only get fewer than 250 people to use the ferry. The other was the price for a one way ticket, $5.60 to Wall Street. The ride is about 20 minutes. You have to ask yourself. How did they manage to get so many people to use it at that price? With so many alternatives to the ferry in mass transportation I am surprised it lasted this long. The other problem from day one was also the fact that few people in the neighborhood even know that it's there. Probably true as well in Bay Ridge where I suspect most of the users came from.

An organization called the Sunset Ridge Alliance has been pushing for expanded service and having additional ferry service leave from the 69th street pier. The problem with that is that there is no parking available at the 69th street pier. The only way to get people to the pier would be via Bus as the only mass transportation means available. That would push the cost for a one way ticket at close to $8. At least the 58th street pier at the Brooklyn Army Terminal has an abundance of Parking. I somehow don't think that the ferry service will be back any time soon unless they can get more people to pony up these prices when public transportation by either the N, R or D trains will get you to Wall Street from the 36th street station in about 30 minutes and midtown Manhattan in about 40 for a mere $2.

This brings me to another pet peeve of mine. Most Sunset Parkers aren't even aware that the pier is there. It is an underutilized resource and recreation spot in the nabe and the only spot where you can do some fishing if you are into that sort of thing. Community organizations should use the pier to hold more events and publicize the fact the pier is there.

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