Water Taxi Connections

In the comments section of my last post, Cap’n Transit points to an entry on his blog that brings up an aspect of making connections to the ferry that I had not considered. Namely, that the ferry companies do it. The Cap’n mentions the success that New York Waterway (the “Jersey ferry”) has had with running shuttle buses both in Manhattan and New Jersey. Imperatore and company figured out long ago that without connections on the land side, ferries were really only useful to people who lived and worked within a short walk of the ferry. By providing an extensive shuttle service on land, NYWW has greatly expanded its customer base. By doing so, they effectively eliminate the need to get on public transit in Manhattan, thus eliminating the two fare problem (in the process, though, adding to the congestion on Manhattan streets).1

I’d recommend reading Cap’n Transit’s original blog post (Water Taxi: What If?). He also touches on the issue of accessibility that I discussed, but from the point of view of LIC commuters. The formula remains the same (live near the ferry, work near the ferry – no problem), he just provides more and different examples. The rest of the blog is also worth a tour.

1. NYWW has an advantage over New York Water Taxi (the “East River ferry”), in that NYWW is a much bigger operation, and can thus better afford to run an extensive shuttle service. The incremental cost per fare (which is surely included in the fare) is thus pretty negligible.

One response to “Water Taxi Connections”

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! I don’t think that the NY Waterway buses contribute much to Manhattan congestion, especially if you think of how many of the passengers would be driving if they hadn’t taken the ferry.
    For crossing the Hudson, because the ferries are so expensive, they seem to have become a “first class” system, allowing commuters who pay the ferry premium to have a less crowded trip than their neighbors on the Bergenline vans or the PATH trains. The dedicated Waterway buses extend that segregation door-to-door. I have some misgivings about a two-tier system like that, but if it attracts people who would otherwise drive, it’s probably worth it.
    NY Waterway also makes sure that there are buses ready to meet every incoming ferry, so that the passengers aren’t shivering (or sweating) at a bus stop waiting for the NYC Transit bus to show up on its own schedule. Of course, this is very similar to what the MTA does at the Staten Island Ferry.