Roosevelt Islander Online: NYC Mayor Eric Adams Unveils NYC Ferry Forward Plan With New Equitable Fare Structure – Reduced Ticket Price For Seniors, Disabled And Low Income Riders, $2.75 For Frequent Riders And $4 For Single Riders

On July 6:

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander released an audit showing NYC Economic
Development Corporation (EDC) underreported nearly a quarter of a billion
dollars in NYC Ferry expenditures during former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s
Administration. EDC incurred a total of $758 million dollars in total
ferry-related expenditures from July 1, 2015 through December 31, 2021, yet
only reported $534 million as ferry-related expenses in its audited financial
statements and other records. The total City subsidy-per-ride is nearly double
the original estimate of $6.60 and has been consistently underreported. The
press conference livestream is available

The answer is yes and the plan includes reduced fares for seniors, disabled and low
income ferry riders too. 

At the Astoria Ferry Landing today,
NYC Mayor Eric Adams:

… unveiled
“NYC Ferry Forward,” his vision for a more equitable, accessible, and fiscally sustainable
citywide ferry system. The plan includes a new NYC Ferry Discount Program —
modeled after the city’s Fair Fares program for subways and buses, which
offers reduced-fair rides for seniors, people with disabilities, and
low-income riders. Starting in September, at least 1 million – New Yorkers can
take advantage of the program and ride the ferry, one way, for the low price
of $1.35. The plan also features a new, progressive fare structure, free trip
vouchers and expanded outreach to NYCHA residents, makes it easier for New
Yorkers to bike to and from the ferry, and creates opportunities for revenue

According to this press release today
from the Mayor’s Office:

… The plan also focuses on increasing revenue and ridership by establishing
a new, dynamic, and progressive fare structure, which reduces costs to the
city. This means keeping the cost low for regular riders, while asking
infrequent riders to pay a little more. The plan ensures everyday riders can
still take advantage of the $2.75 fare by purchasing aa 10-trip pack for
$27.50, while single ride fares will cost $4.00 for visitors or infrequent
riders. This scale will allow the system to continue to best serve riders,
while generating as much as $2 million in additional annual revenue, helping
to reduce the system’s public subsidy. Mayor Adams will also eliminate the
$1.00 bike fee across the entire NYC Ferry system to help encourage
environmentally sustainable multi-modal transportation. Now, New Yorkers are
more encouraged to bike to and from the ferry, while also taking a mode of
transportation that decreases commuters’ reliance on cars and simultaneously
reducing the city’s carbon footprint. The elimination of the $1.00 bike fee
and fare changes take effect on September 12, 2022. The city will be working
with NYC Ferry operator City Experiences to implement these initiatives over
the coming weeks….

I asked Mayor Adams:

During weekends, places like Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, residents
can’t get on the ferry because it’s so crowded, usually with tourists. Is
there any plan to increase capacity on the boat so that residents can use the
ferry as they want to do it on weekends?

Mayor Adams replied: 

I want to be extremely clear. George Washington, from tourists and George
Washington from everywhere. I want them all. We want people to spend money,
and I like my multi-billion dollar tourist industry that we have here. We
should look at it. I think that’s what Andrew said. How do we look at those
boats are underutilized, and let’s look at what the routes are. We’re going
to continue to evolve. This is an administration that’s not afraid to
evolve. If there are those locations where there’s a high number of uses,
then we got to pivot and shift. We got to evolve. We’re going to continue to
evolve. I want my tourists here. I want to be clear. That’s a multi-billion
dollar industry. I love seeing them here. I give them one piece of advice.
Spend money, spend money.

We’re going to analyze where we are and we would like to increase wherever
it’s possible. We’re going to analyze where we are and that’s what this team
is doing to see if we need to extend, expand. We’re going to continue to pivot
and shift to make sure that we can get as many people as possible utilizing
the boats.

Watch here.


Mayor Adams adds:

…If you don’t have access to transportation, it’s going to impact your
overall quality of life. Some people may look at the dollar amount. We have to
get this done. This is an investment in these children’s and families and
communities that have been historically ignored. We have to supplement if
people are living in rich areas, high rich transit areas, or other areas, we
have to balance this transportation system. It’s not fair right now. If you
live in the central of Manhattan, you have access to buses, access to trains,
access to ferries, access to everything you need. This community doesn’t have
that. That is just not fair. That’s not equitable. That is what we’re talking

Here’s the full NYC Ferry Forward presentation today at the Astoria Ferry

Perhaps, the
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp
can implement a similar pricing structure for the Roosevelt Island Tram.


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