Subway and rail riders in New York City and its surrounding metro region are not the only one getting exasperated over issues with their commute. NYC Ferry customers have now entered the frustrated fray as they face issues like overcrowding and delays.
Some have taken to social media to sound off about recent delays of up to two hours, being turned away from using the service and the company allegedly having a fleet of just four boats on the East River route. One passenger stranded at Sunset park terminal described the situation as "hot garbage."
"Keep people waiting in 90 degree weather in direct sun for nearly an hour (many children, too) after scheduled arrival, only to tell them the boat is full and won't be accepting passengers," they wrote on Facebook. "I don't care how petty it is, I'm gonna demand that $2.75 back for wasting my Sunday."
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@NYCferry many people stranded at governors island trying to get to Bay Ridge. All ferries are full. Send more ferries!!!— Emma DePiero (@edepiero) June 11, 2017
NYC Ferry, which recently added routes to South Brooklyn and Rockaway and will add three more by next summer, is expected to be an alternative for a small number of commuters come 2019 when the L train goes out of service for 15 months.
“NYC Ferry was able to enter the waters of NYC ahead of schedule,” Cameron Clark, senior vice president of the Hornblower-operated NYC Ferry, told Metro via email Monday. “We are doing all that we can to accommodate the high demand and overcrowding.”
Clark said those issues are “the result of many factors” that include the success of the launch and its service, the waterfront/transit desert areas it serves, route connections and the “comfort and convenience” of using NYC Ferries as transportation, which offers amenities like charging stations and outdoor decks to take advantage of nice weather.
Clark, who said that NYC Ferry has eight vessels currently in operation with another 12 being constructed per a contract with the city, uses “three to four” vessels “on a given day” for the East River route. Ferries on that route stop at Pier 11 on Wall Street, Dumbo, North and South Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Hunters Point South, East 34th Street and, in summer, Governors Island.
He added that Hornblower is working with the city and its Economic Development Corp. to rectify these issues customers have with the NYC Ferry, which he admitted are not exclusive to just the East River route.
The NYC Ferry recently added routes to South Brooklyn and Rockway and is expected to add another to Astoria in August. Service to the Lower East Side and Soundview/Clason Point in the Bronx will be added next summer.
Mayor Bill De Blasio has proposed getting more and bigger boats to accomodate demand for the new transit system.