Come on and take a free ride
After debuting last summer, the NYC Ferry has received from Mayor de Blasio and Your City Of New York another $300 million dollars of funding. The justification for this allocation comes after thousands wound up waiting hours to board the insufficient service that was caused by the paltry amount of boats rushed into service provided by the Frisco based Hornblower broke down simultaneously, and on a crystal ball like five year speculation of the service amassing 9 million riders.
This was immediately decided after weeks of heavily publicized demand by the Riders Alliance group for $210 million dollars towards discounted fares for low-salaried transit dependent citizens, which de Blasio said was impossible to fund and refused to implement the program into the $89,000,000(!!!) city budget and conveniently basing it on the state budget mandate for the city to fund half the $800 million emergency fund improvements and repairs for the MTA, the worst fucking transit system of the universe.
A question for the seemingly socialist and progress mayor is how come there isn’t money to give the less fortunate commuting citizens a hand? The answers are quite obvious and expansive but this post will focus on it’s arguably most popular destination dock in Rockaway Beach.
There are the shuttle buses which provide free transfers which are not available to those who need to take a city bus and train after they get off the boat. Although in the beginning of the summer in Rockaway just after the service was launched, these shuttles weren’t provided by Hornblower but were provided by massive, luxurious charter buses. It was a month later that the official buses by the Hornblower Corp came in. The costs of renting these charter buses are not known and of course were not covered in the local news media whom initially showed up en masse to the christening of the ferry service and never returned.
The massively fucked up thing about this, yet another, insulting slight and deprivation of city services for the citizens struggling to afford to live in this city is that the ferry bus shuttles are an everyday free transfer for ferry riders, where it’s bus service only went to limited stops going east (which has seen a modest influx of the hipster demographic along with the opening of an arbitrary beer garden) and ended at 67th street, avoiding a massive stretch east which contains most of the population in the peninsula where the majority of poor people live and a great amount of public housing.
Even though the shuttle has recently been extended further east to the 30’s on the peninsula (certainly because of new housing developments from lux towers to the only upgrades that was devoted to NYCHA buildings in the past 4 years), it was recently revealed that running the ferries cost twice the amount of the fare to subsidize it’s operations. It would be nice to know how much of that subsidy covers the bars and bartenders inside the cramped water trolleys.
But there is another eye-opening reason why a ton of cash is being thrown at this sinking investment and it was pointed out in the local shiny happy funtime beach weekly, The Rockaway Times. After the aforementioned simultaneous breakdown of the fleet last autumn and unfortunate incidents leading to commuters getting stuck and evacuated because of bad navigation, winter came along with a record daily frozen temperatures that manifested a new obstacle-ice.
In the peak of winter, the ferry service was introduced to another obstacle as Jamaica Bay started to freeze over, but NYC Ferry did what it could to meet the challenge. On days where conditions seemed impossible, the service was suspended for everyone’s safety, but many attempts were also made by tugboats that were hired to clear the ice so that the service could continue on some chilly winter days.
So NYC taxpayers are paying for two boat services, hopefully the tugboats are not equipped with bars for craft beer and artisan whisky sales.
It is just stupid that de Faustio would prefer to piss 300 million in the river than provide a real progressive program like fair fares for the working poor and senior citizens which would have save the city 90 million, with the remainder of the cash going to improve bus service, maintain road infrastructure and street safety by sending more cops to direct traffic in the busiest areas where congestion is the worse.
But just like the BQX gentrification street car de Faustio and the new agents of the city- the Friends of the BQX and Transportation Alternatives, insistently refuse to let go, as this new expensive allocation is based on projected ridership in 5 years time, showing once again that the mayor and his owners/donors in Real Estate care more and pander to a constituency that doesn’t exist instead of the constituency that is getting shafted from this fauxgressive mayor, depriving them of necessary transit services for these quasi-yachts and the unfair free bus transit service for mostly tourists and transients when those ghetto dollar vans would do just fine.
The 300 million allocation is also going to upgrades at all dock stations and the building of new ones like in Stonybrook in the South Bronx, another locale that’s is in midst of a luxury hyperdevelopment building boom (more like boon since this will induce gentrification and high rental market rate fabrication/speculation) to go along with the free transfer bus trips as the majority of train stations and subway tracks and signals will see elongated delays in renovations. Which makes this effort to prop up an expensive and equally ineffective transit service unfair to all commuters.