MTA To Add Ferry Service During Shutdown

The inevitable L Train train shutdown between Brooklyn & Manhattan is fast approaching. Riders in the highly popular areas of Bushwick, East Village & Williamsburg are still waiting for concrete answers on how the MTA plans to make up for the service loss.

One of their plans is to add ferry service that will run between the East Village & Williamsburg. The agency would run 8 boats per hour which comes out to about every 7 minutes. The problem is the boats would only hold 149 passengers per boat which comes out to almost 1200 riders per hour which is the equivalent of 22 standard buses or 1 L Train train. Let that sync in…..

Paul Stremple of the Bklyner has more in this report:

Last night, during a joint presentation to Community Board 1 regarding the upcoming closure of the L train and repairs to the Canarsie Tunnel, the MTA and DOT revealed a host of new information, including new details about additional ferry service during the 15-month closure.

The agencies have long mentioned a direct ferry route between the North Williamsburg ferry landing and Stuyvesant Cove. Now, more details are available.

According to the presentation, temporary ferry service during the shutdown will run 6:00 am-Midnight Sunday through Thursday, with a potential for extended hours until 2:00 am on Saturday and Sundays, pending coordination with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

Some in the crowd raised concerns about safety on the boats, especially in the late hours of Friday and Saturday, citing the plurality of bars in the neighborhood—fears of drunken revelers taking a dip in the East River elicited shouts of “Man Overboard!” from attendees. Agency officials agreed safety was a concern, telling those gathered that discussions about the plan are ongoing.

The late-night ferry rides may cause additional community concerns, as the US Coast Guard requires the operators to sound their horn at each departure. (Last June, service operators Hornblower swapped out high-decibel horns for quieter ones after neighbors up and down the waterfront lodged complaints.)

With 225,000 L train riders needing to cross the river each day, whether by boat, bus, bike or another train line, there has been a question about what kind of capacity the ferry system could muster during the shutdown, even with a direct service route.

Luckily, the MTA and DOT representatives came prepared with figures: during rush hours (which have yet to be defined), the plan is to run 8 boats per hour in each direction—one every 7.5 minutes. With a capacity of 149 passengers per boat, that means up to 1,200 riders an hour in each direction between Brooklyn and Manhattan. That’s equivalent to about 22 standard buses (but only 1 L train).

Click here for the complete report.

I strongly doubt this service will do much to help riders during the shutdown. The lack of room will make it an option that is not exactly feasible for many. Plus the lack of overnight hour service past a potential 2AM will be an issue as the first few stops along the L in Brooklyn are packed nearly 24 hours a day.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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