Thursday, July 14, 2022

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 - Hey RIOC, Can You Do Same For The Roosevelt Island Tram?

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 here....

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 generation....
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 about....
Here's the full NYC Ferry Forward presentation today at the Astoria Ferry Landing.

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