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Red Hook will welcome a free ferry service between its businesses and Manhattan this summer.

The free Red Hook Summer Ferry service will begin May 25, running from Pier 11 in Manhattan to Van Brunt Street and then to IKEA, officials announced today.

"Every weekend all summer long, folks can hop on the IKEA ferry for free and hop off at a brand-new stop in Red Hook to spend the day and night sampling the neighborhood's great small businesses,” Quinn said.

 

When the program launched, it only ferried people between IKEA and Pier 11. With the expanded service, officials expect a ferry to arrive every 25 minutes, less than the 40 minutes now.

Hopefully, officials say, this will bring more residents to Sandy-affected businesses in Red Hook.

“Hurricane Sandy hit the Red Hook community hard, and that’s why we’re making it easier than ever for New Yorkers to get to small businesses in the area,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

The service starts at 10 a.m., running through 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, including holiday Mondays.

Local business owners lauded the new way to bring visitors, from the five boroughs or even overseas, to their doorstep.

“We learned that the East River can bring heartache, devastation and loss of business, but if the ferry lands at VanBrunt Street this summer, the East River will also be responsible for bringing profits back to businesses and the assurance of survival and progress,” said Triciann Botta, who owns Botta di Vino in Red Hook.

The expansion comes the same week that the popular East River Ferry will reach 2 million total riders this week, officials said.

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