Hoping to Lure Riders With Scenic Commutes

Even at the start of the 5 p.m. rush hour, the commuters getting off and on [at India Street] could be counted on one hand. Though the numbers are more robust during the morning rush hours — on Monday, 14 people caught the 8:39 ferry to Pier 11 near Wall Street and 21 caught the 8:40 to East 34th Street — they still raise questions about the popularity and profitability of the service as a whole. The ferries can hold 149 passengers.

Anecdotally (which is the best this article can muster too), the number of people getting on the ferry at North 6th Street every morning (going in either direction) is certainly much higher, and the number of passengers at the end of the day at Wall Street is as well. Most boats that I ride are comfortably crowded – not packed, and not at capacity, but they sure don’t feel like ghost ships.

It is not news that the ferry requires subsidies to survive, and that the ferry “functions especially well for residents of Brooklyn and Queens who [like me] live a short walk from the ferry and have jobs or attend schools near the ferry’s two stops in Manhattan” and don’t have to pay two fares.

It is also not news that the ferry is a very nice way to commute (and, if you can afford it, well worth the extra $1.75 each way to avoid the subway at rush hour).