The city is scrambling to boost service on the new wide NYC Ferry that was launched with nice fanfare in could. several passengers say service within the initial few months has been something however swish.
“There’s been three times i have never gotten on. I even have had to attend concerning AN hour, AN hour and a [*fr1],” aforesaid Meaghan Clinton, United Nations agency rides the new Rockaway route to urge home from work on Wall Street daily.
The Rockaway boat sometimes departs Wall Street just the once AN hour, and Clinton and different time of day riders aforesaid they need to depart work early to urge on line for a spot, or risk having to attend AN hour or additional till subsequent boat.
Tempers often flare, said riders.
“There have been fights on the boats. There have been people cutting and people have been getting pretty irate,” said passenger Eric Sontag.
Higher-than-expected demand has also been an issue for beachgoers who often wait hours on hot days.
On the East River line, where fares dropped from $4 to $2.75 when NYC Ferry took over, crowding has also been a problem at times.
“They’re delayed. The other day, I had two boats go by- they were full, I couldn’t get on,” said Michael Demler, who boards at Long Island City for 34th street.
The City’s Economic Development Corporation, which runs the ferry, is adding more service and bigger boats.
“This is a new system,” said Anthony Hogrebe, senior vice president for public affairs at EDC. “We continue to find ways to add service and add capacity.”
The EDC has supplemented the sleek new, smaller boats they ordered by chartering older, bigger vessels and has added extra boats to pick up some of the crowds that get left behind.
“Everytime we add a boat or a trip, that’s an added cost to taxpayers,” Hogrebe explained. “We’re continuing to try to find a system that’s balanced between needing to serve as many people as possible but also wanting to be responsible with taxpayer money.”
EDC has also ordered three larger boats which hold 250 passengers. They should be operating by next year, Hogrebe said.
Meanwhile, NYC Ferry just launched real-time delay updates through its app in hopes of improving communication with customers.
Still, regular riders said the system is still far from perfect.
“For this to be a sustainable service, people need to be able to rely on this at most times and right now it still kind of feels like hit or miss,” said regular Rockaway route rider Eric Sontag.