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Commuters using Ikea shuttle bus to bypass MTA routes

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Commuters using Ikea shuttle bus to bypass MTA routes

BY JEFF WILKINS

NY DAILY NEWS

July 8th 2008

 

alg_ikea-bus.jpg

Tracy for News

If trends are correct, most of these Ikea shuttle bus riders disembarking at Court St. hadn't stepped foot in the store. Ikea's OK with it.

 

Think there's no such thing as a free ride? You haven't been to Red Hook lately.

 

Countless commuters are taking advantage of Ikea's free bus and ferry - without ever setting foot inside the giant Swedish furniture store that opened last month in the waterfront neighborhood.

 

The posh, coach-style shuttle buses, equipped with footrests, reading lights and music, are quickly becoming popular with travelers tired of shelling out $2 for overcrowded - and, by comparison, uncomfortable - city buses.

 

"It's like a free car service," said Bianca Colon, 19, who works at a summer program at Public School 27 on Huntington St. in Red Hook, and takes the bus from downtown Brooklyn near her home. "It takes us straight downtown and I don't have to wait for the bus to stop every block to let people on and off."

 

Colon took the city bus to her summer job for several weeks before discovering the swank Ikea alternative.

 

"It's got AC; it doesn't get overcrowded," she said. "You have your own space. It's strange, but people are more behaved on this bus. It's just more relaxing."

 

The free bus service transports passengers from Red Hook to stops on Court St. and to subway stations at Fourth Ave. and Smith and Ninth Sts. every 15 minutes during store hours.

 

Thrifty bus riders aren't the only ones taking advantage of Ikea's services. City residents are also saving $6 each way and taking the store's free water taxi to and from Wall Street.

 

"It's such a nice ride, I'd almost be happy to pay for it," said Steve Riley, 40, who lives in Park Slope, takes the Ikea bus and then transfers to the Ikea water taxi for his job in SoHo. "It was so very different from the miserable experience of the subway and I got to see all four of the waterfalls."

 

Brooklyn News found last week that only eight of 19 passengers on the first shuttle ride entered Ikea - and two of them were employees.

 

"I'd say before one o'clock, about half the riders from Smith and Ninth Sts. don't even go into Ikea," said a bus driver, who added many riders are going to a local methodone clinic for treatment.

 

Ikea had kind words for those using the free transportation. "We are thrilled that we are providing free transit options for the people of New York to come to Ikea and to come to Red Hook," said Ikea spokesman Joseph Roth. "We support mass transit, and if people are using our services and not going to Ikea, that's fine with us as well."

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Now that this secret is out, I guess one can expect the MTA to say something about it.

 

I would say that Ikea would act on it first.

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Nice, they're using E series MCIs.

 

Aside from that, better get your free rides in now, especially on the ferry before something is done.

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Nice, they're using E series MCIs.

 

Aside from that, better get your free rides in now, especially on the ferry before something is done.

 

What can the MTA do about the ferry? Once the Culver work starts, IKEA's going to look like a knight in shining armor to that area since the local bus via the Battery plan appears to be gone.

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Now that this secret is out, I guess one can expect the MTA to say something about it.

 

They shouldn't, but we know eventually they will......

 

I would say that Ikea would act on it first.

 

I agree 100%. The purpose was suppose to get customers to the store, but if they don't generate any revenue in the store from this shuttle they are paying for, it will go bye-bye....

 

What can the MTA do about the ferry? Once the Culver work starts, IKEA's going to look like a knight in shining armor to that area since the local bus via the Battery plan appears to be gone.

 

It will, but IKEA knows what is going on. It will be canned soon enough. They won't keep paying for something that brings few into the store. but then again, maybe they have money to blow.......

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"We support mass transit, and if people are using our services and not going to Ikea, that's fine with us as well."

What I'm getting from the above quote is that IKEA could care less about people not shopping there and simply using the bus and ferry for commuting. It's the MTA that will care about it as people pass the MTA buses by for the IKEA buses. If IKEA wanted to make money off the commuters, they could sell food and drinks for the commuters in the store or charge like $2 for the ride from the store unless you buy something in the store.

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What I'm getting from the above quote is that IKEA could care less about people not shopping there and simply using the bus and ferry for commuting. It's the MTA that will care about it as people pass the MTA buses by for the IKEA buses. If IKEA wanted to make money off the commuters, they could sell food and drinks for the commuters in the store or charge like $2 for the ride from the store unless you buy something in the store.

 

That doesn't sound like a bad idea, but I would say $1 instead. I'm going to have to check that out. I like the E-series. I hope it's DD powered!! LOL

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That doesn't sound like a bad idea, but I would say $1 instead. I'm going to have to check that out. I like the E-series. I hope it's DD powered!! LOL

 

I don't know much about IKEA's pricing. IKEA would face the same thing in Morris County if they opened a store out here. Of course MCDOT might pay for some of the service if the store was in an area where no other transportation existed (Colombia Turnpike) or there was a transportation issue (Dover area).

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That doesn't sound like a bad idea, but I would say $1 instead. I'm going to have to check that out. I like the E-series. I hope it's DD powered!! LOL

Same here! Start a trip out in Lower Manhattan, take the free ferry service, then a bus into downtown Brooklyn and go around from there.

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Well , Ikea started a two-tier system for free ferry rides. Since the ferries has a high volume of passengers. Ikea will stamp store customers hands and those customers will have 1st priority to get on the ferry. If the ferry has extra space, than non-IKEA customers can board the ferry.

Here is the article,

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/31/28/31_28_mm_ikea_ferry.html

I still think it is a good thing that Ikea is letting non-customers still to board the free ferries. But, As anything store in the world, priority is to the customers first.

I wonder what Ikea might do to the busses.

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"It's strange, but people are more behaved on this bus. It's just more relaxing."

 

Well what do you expect? most of the passengers are going to get their methadone at a clinic in Red Hook. Ikea has more money than God. They don't care if most of the passengers on these buses don't step inside Ikea.

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"It's strange, but people are more behaved on this bus. It's just more relaxing."

 

Well what do you expect? most of the passengers are going to get their methadone at a clinic in Red Hook. Ikea has more money than God. They don't care if most of the passengers on these buses don't step inside Ikea.

 

Reminds me of certain services that i can't remember the name of that i heard about in various cities. Some companies provide ultra low cost or free busses for employee benefit, but also allow any extra space to be taken up by other people. I wish i could remember where this was done. B)

 

- A

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