Ikea cuts freebies; shuttle bus, ferry service trimmed back

Ikea cuts freebies; shuttle bus, ferry service trimmed back
Tom Fox

Ikea will slash the free water taxi and shuttle bus service that it provides to help mitigate traffic at its Red Hook store.

The Swedish home furnishing giant said demand had slackened after Labor Day for the gratis rides to a Manhattan pier and nearby Brooklyn subway stations.

Under the new schedule, which went into effect on Oct. 1, a water taxi will cruise the East River every 40 minutes from 1 to 9 pm on weekdays — down from 10 am to 10 pm. The weekend timetable remains 10 am to 10 pm.

The store also shaved its controversial shuttle bus service to the Borough Hall, Smith-Ninth and Fourth Avenue subway stations. On weekdays, straphangers will be able to get a lift every half hour from 1 to 9 pm, down from departures every 15 minutes from 10 am to 10 pm.

“We have been monitoring ridership and have determined since summer has ended, this approach represents the most efficient fall schedule,” store manager Mike Baker said.

The announcement came two weeks after store officials discussed the effects of a bustling Ikea on traffic in Red Hook and surrounding neighborhoods at a Community Board 6 meeting in Long Island College Hospital on Sept. 11.

Some people pleaded with the Odin of home décor not to reduce the free transit.

“It’s really hard to get in and out of the neighborhood on public transportation,” said Marsha Trattner, a Red Hook resident.

Shuttle bus and ferry service to the Red Hook Ikea is being dramatically scaled back.
The Brooklyn Paper / Alex Alvarez