Ikea has again slashed its free ferry and shuttle bus service, citing declining use of the complimentary transit by shoppers to its Red Hook megastore.
“We have been monitoring ridership on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis and have determined that since winter has arrived, this approach represents the most efficient schedule,’ said store skipper Mike Baker.
Effective Jan. 26, the water taxi, which docks on the home furnishing giant’s esplanade and at Pier 11 in Manhattan, will depart every 40 minutes on weekdays between 2 and 7 pm, rather than from 1 to 9 pm.
And on weekends, the vessels will run between 11 am and 9 pm, instead of 10 am to 10 pm.
The shuttle bus, which navigates a route from the Beard Street store to Borough Hall, and the Smith–Ninth streets and Fourth Avenue subway stations, will also run less frequently. On weekdays, the omnibus will run every 30 minutes from 3 to 8 pm, down from 1 to 9 pm. Ikea will provide it on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 9 pm, instead of the current 10 am to 10 pm service.
This is the second cut in service since the seller of inexpensive furniture and Swedish meatballs opened in June.
The store made its first reduction in ferry and bus schedules after Labor Day, much to the chagrin of freeloaders who rode in and out of Red Hook without any intention of shopping at Ikea.
In order to win city approval for what was a controversial plan to build the first Ikea in the five boroughs, the store said it would provide the free rides as a way to limit an increase in car traffic on Red Hook’s quiet backstreets.