Ferry riders grumble as weekend fares go up

Downtown Express photo by Nicolas Fernandes East River Ferry’s weekend  fares jumped by 50 percent to $6 starting April 5.

Downtown Express photo by Nicolas Fernandes
East River Ferry’s weekend fares jumped by 50 percent to $6 starting April 5.

BY NICOLAS FERNANDES  |  Passengers on the East River Ferry to Long Island City and DUMBO were annoyed last Saturday, the first day the weekend price for a one-way ticket jumped from $4 to $6 in order for service to resume.

“Six bucks seems like a little much,” said John Chinn, who was waiting to board a ferry at Pier 11.

The cost of a one-way weekday ticket remains $4. An unlimited monthly pass, which includes weekends, increased from $140 to $160.

In addition, on-board payments are no longer accepted. Passengers must purchase a ticket at vending machines, the Pier 11 ticket office, or through the NY Waterway mobile app.

The East River Ferry is operated by NY Waterway.

Monika Bolino, a frequent passenger, was disappointed by the new policy, which went into effect April 5.

“Whipping out four bucks on the fly is quick and efficient, even better than using the ticket machine,” Bolino said.

The ferry, which also goes to Governors Island in warm months, began as a pilot project in 2011 and has been funded mainly with a $3 million city subsidy. In December, the city awarded East River Ferry an extension until 2019 and authorized the fare hike. The program needs to raise the fare because it is now getting a smaller subsidy from the city and the price of fuel has risen since 2011.

”We understand the impact that increased fares have upon our customers and we implement them only when necessary,” read a message on the East River Ferry website.

The ferry departs at Pier 11 and travels to East 34th Street before going to Brooklyn, Queens and Governors Island.

This comes at a time when there are no ferries to or from Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Service there was suspended in February after the dock ramp collapsed and fell into the water.

The East River Ferry says the ramp is still being repaired and that the terminal should reopen before August.

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2 Responses to Ferry riders grumble as weekend fares go up

  1. The Greenpoint terminal we be open before AUGUST?! Why does it take six months to repair the ramp? No work has been done thus far as far as I can tell.

  2. "the price of fuel has risen since 2011" is not true!!!.

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