Frustrated Ferry Riders Hoping For Smoother Sailing After Tuesday’s Overcrowding – CBS New York
With another warm day ahead, could we see a repeat?
The sunny day paired with spring break had many people thinking the ferry was the best way to get around yesterday – or so they thought.
Frustrated commuters said it was a battle to get on board.
MORE: NYC Ferry Riders Left Outraged By Overcrowded Ships, Mass Confusion At Terminals
“I mean it was a disaster,” one woman said.
“We actually had to fight our way to the front,” another added.
Riders were fired up over the overcrowding and what seemed to be too few boats along the East River.
“We waited for over an hour, and the lines were chaotic, and no one was letting us through and no one knows which ferry is going where, and it was not a pleasant experience,” said Kelly Israni.
NYC Ferry alerted riders on Twitter, posting, “Due to larger than usual passenger volume, delays or disruptions may occur on all routes. Please allow for longer boarding times and follow directions of upland staff.” Service alerts were also posted on the NYC Ferry app.
Many riders felt the system, which is overseen by the city’s economic development corporation, missed the boat by not having adequate service.
A report released last month warned of these issues, in part saying NYC Ferry ridership is “seasonal and leisure oriented.” One graphic showed NYC Ferry ridership varies more by season than any other ferry network in the area – peaking in the summer months, falling drastically in the winter and then spiking again when it gets warm.
The nonprofit behind the report, Citizens Budget Commission, also tweeted in response to yesterday’s delays, posting, “NYC Ferry is reporting delays due to high passenger volume: a reminder that its ridership is highly seasonal peaking during warm months. The high rate of leisure travel suggests the City can charge higher fares for occasional riders to offset costs.”
A spokesperson told CBS2 the summer schedule is still a few weeks away.
“Until Memorial Day Weekend, we’re operating on a spring schedule, which means boats run every 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the routes. Today just happened to be a hotter day than normal, and so we’re seeing an increase level in ridership,” Stephanie Baez said.
Once the summer schedule starts, ferries will run every 20 minutes or so, and more workers will be on hand to help with the crowds at the busiest landings.