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mark1447

Buy land and buy sea? East River ferry operator wants to accept Metrocards

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The operator of a ferry line that connects Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and DUMBO with Manhattan wants to accept MetroCards — a proposal that could streamline payment and lure more landlubbers to commute across the East River, transit advocates say.

 

New York Waterway, which runs the East River Ferry, has asked the MTA and the city to study how it can add ferry rides onto MetroCards, creating a single pass that straphangers can use to commute on land and by sea.

 

“The idea of integrating the MetroCard system into the East River Ferry system is something we’ve talked about in the past and we are interested in exploring options and learning more from the city and the MTA,” said Billybey Ferry Company CEO Paul Goodman.

 

A spokeswoman with the Economic Development Corporation, which is subsidizing ferry service with $9.3 million in city funds over three years, said the city is weighing the idea.

 

An MTA spokesman declined to discuss how it would reconcile pricing differences between the two forms of transit: a one-way ferry trip costs $4 and a monthly unlimited pass costs $140 — considerably more than the MTA’s $2.25 single ride and $104 unlimited MetroCards. (The ferry also adds a $1 surcharge for bringing bikes onto boats).

 

“It’s a bit early in the game to get in the details,” the MTA spokesman said.

 

In addition to addressing MetroCard pricing, the authority must also determine how to install card-swiping equipment comparable to the ones at subway stops at ferry landings.

 

And both the MTA and New York Waterway would have to determine how to process transfers.

 

“If there’s a free connection, one of the two entities would have to give up a free trip,” said a ferry spokesman.

 

The city-backed ferry service set sail in June 2011, generating considerable excitement among residents in North Brooklyn and DUMBO, who use the boat to commute to Wall Street and midtown Manhattan in as little as 15 minutes.

 

So far, 715,000 riders have paid for a trip across the East River since its launch — a number that far exceeds the ferry company and the city’s expectations.

 

If MetroCard machines appear at ferry landings, New York wouldn’t be the first city to link its marine transit with its trains and buses.

 

San Franciscans use a transit debit card called a “Clipper,” which allows riders to pay for trains, buses, trolleys, and ferries from one source while keeping track of the different fares for each transit system.

 

And Boston residents get around Beantown by buying a CharlieCard, which allows unlimited travel on buses, subways, commuter trains, and ferries in the harbor.

 

Transit advocates lauded the idea and called on other transit agencies to join the discussion.

 

“To paraphrase Tolkien, let’s have ‘one card to rule them all!’ said Transportation Alternatives spokesman Michael Murphy. “There should be one transit card that people can use on the MTA, the ferries, the PATH, bike share, and commuter rail. A seamless public transportation experience would be a welcome development for New Yorkers and regional commuters.”

 

Source: http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/35/17/dtg_ferrymetrocards_2012_05_04_bk.html?comm=1

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I think that might be great idea, and if they want to put subway turnstile, that might be bad idea, especially with shared pier.

East Side Ferry terminal is shared by Seastreak and Special Event/Baseball Cruise events.

 

Dumbo is shared by NYWT.

 

I think East River Ferry should do what MBTA FH4 Boat Does with Unlimited Pass.

 

When I went to MBTA FH4 Boat, I remember with Japanese guests, we showed MBTA Employees checked our 1-Day Charlie Card/Ticket (not sure which one we used).

 

Maybe, East River Ferry could do say with MetroCard, so it will not affect other ferry boarding.

 

Or have Bus Farebox Installed on East River Ferry instead similar to what they do when they have shuttle bus replacing (A) between Howard Beach and the Rockaways?

I think PANY&NJ might be loosing fare when subway shuttle bus replaces (A) because it stops on AirTrain JFK side.

Edited by FamousNYLover

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I tried the ferry once and liked it but $4 to go from LIC to 34th means I'll only use it in emergencies. Why not have machines similar to SBS that sell ferry tickets instead?

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There's no point in giving out a free transfer. They could make it like the PATH where you could only use PPR MetroCards and then the ferry gets their money and the MTA gets theirs (of course, at the expense of the passenger, but if you don't like it, take the subway)

 

I'd like it if there was one SmartCard where you could use it to pay the subway/bus fare, and also buy tickets for the commuter rail/buses in the region. There were a few times when I had to take NJT or Metro-North, and I'm thinking it would be nice if I could use a MetroCard to get rid of the remaining balance. There were times when I combined MetroCards and ended up with a $50 balance or something, and using them on the commuter rail would get the balance down quickly.

 

On a side note, how does it currently work with the tickets? Do you buy them onboard the ferry and then just keep them when they come around and check, or what?

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Not saying I don't like this idea, but as the article stated, how the hell is this supposed to work?

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You could have a terminal building built, and install turnstiles. Many people complain about the lack of food, the cold, and the heat. So by building ferry terminals you will help the people a lot.

Edited by Roadcruiser1

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This is a great idea.

 

Imagine hopping straight off the (1) onto the ferry without a hassle.

 

 

What the hell are you talking about? The East River Ferry runs nowhere near the (1).

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On a side note, how does it currently work with the tickets? Do you buy them onboard the ferry and then just keep them when they come around and check, or what?

 

 

When I rode, there would be a collector at the entrance to the boat and you give your ticket as you board. Not sure how selling onboard works

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What the hell are you talking about? The East River Ferry runs nowhere near the (1).

 

 

Chief I was talking about the Staten Island Ferry.

 

All the ferries should have the MetroCard thing if you ask me.

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Chief I was talking about the Staten Island Ferry.

 

All the ferries should have the MetroCard thing if you ask me.

 

 

The SI Ferry is free.

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