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Ferry good run: East River Ferry extended through 2019

East River ferry service will resume this summer. The question is: Can it survive?
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Big wheel keep on turning.

The city has extended the East River Ferry service through at least 2019, to the delight of Williamsburg and Greenpoint residents for whom a boat ride is more convenient or fun than a long walk to the L train.

“It makes it so much easier to get across the river,” said Greenpointer Jon Dunne, who often takes the ferry to Manhattan and hailed the service extension.

The service, which launched in June of 2011, was originally a pilot program that the city had planned to end in June of 2014. But the ferries have been a huge success, garnering close to three million passengers since its inception, according to the Mayor’s Office.

The $4 ferry runs between Lower Manhattan or Midtown Manhattan and Long Island City, Queens with stops at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Schaefer Landing in South Williamsburg, N. Sixth Street in North Williamsburg, and India Street in Greenpoint.

Three massive development projects could start construction in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick in the next few years, adding nearly 10,000 apartments, so the area needs as many transit options as it can get, according to a local pol.

“The residents of North Brooklyn deserve multiple modes of transportation to transverse the city,” said Councilman Steve Levin.

Last month, the city began to change zoning to permanently allow ferries for as many as 399 passengers to dock in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The current limit allows boats that hold up to 99-passengers. Mayor Bloomberg temporarily overrode that rule, but his order expires next year.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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