“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”
The NY Post reported the other day that the prime demographic that frequently uses the NYC Ferry are upper class people making six figures.
But we all knew it.
The fucking New York City Economic Development Corporation knew it.
The goddamn New York City Mayor knew it.
And both of them fucking spent every second of city time trying to hide it for two years.
The NYC Ferry is mostly used by the wealthiest commuters by the river towers that are owned and run by all of Mayor deFaustio’s developer overlord donors. Notably at the ports on the west Brooklyn coast line where it’s a leisure walk away from them (plus Hunter’s Point in Queens).
The current cost for each taxpayer for each $2.75 ride across the rivers and under the bridges is currently at $9.75. A seven dollar loss for each ride millions of people don’t take or don’t bother to take because they don’t live near the ports. And because they probably have no need and use for the boats because they are just plain inconvenient for where they are located and where they need to go.
If they are not the overvalued rental market rate rent paying tower people, it’s tourists and hipsters going to Rockaway Beach. Which is probably the most popular destination of the city gentrification yachts. Which is where some of this profligate spending on this boondoggle is located.
Because whats constantly overlooked about this obscene and overtly useless and consistently vacant aqua transit service is that there is a free shuttle bus service when you get off the ferry. Although ever since this started, you have to pay another fare to get on a city bus.
Now above is the Rockaway port, the picture was taken in 2017 late in the summer when it first started. It should be noted that these stylish shuttle buses weren’t available until late August and the city was actually using big ass charter buses to transport upper class denizens to the beach.
Above is the city bus stop for the Q22, now why are free ferry shuttle buses necessary when you can just set up a free transfer from the city bus to go to your desired destination, because both buses go to the same places east and west of the peninsula. Why clearly spend money irresponsibly on some private company buses when you got a long time city transit service right there in front of your face?
Because said private company, San Francisco based Hornblower wouldn’t be able to profit from reallocated funds usurped from city buses as service continues to get worse.
And nothing illustrates this more than two recent decisions by the MTA, the worst fucking transit system in the universe, about two major routes that are being gutted and also dissected with scattershot redesigns.
Take the B46 in Brooklyn (while you still can) that goes up and down Utica Ave through three towns and circuits through another four starting at Flatlands and ending in Williamsburg; just last summer the MTA cut 8 buses assigned for the route, cutting four buses from the evening rush and another four for the weekend routes plus the Select bus service line from Mill Basin. Leaving thousands of commuters wasting more time waiting at the stops and taking forever to get back home, in addition to working people reliant on these articulated buses winding up late to work to their weekend jobs. As if paying 2.75 for truncated service was enough of a burden for the majority of them earning around 25k or less a year. All for the MTA to save a measly 2.4 million dollars this year.
Despite the MTA’s pathetic attempt at positive reinforcement propaganda by calling these cuts “enhancements” and the size bigger buses to replace just as big and more reliable buses as “articulated”, commuters in East Flatbush, Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights are not fooled to say the least. Even the “articulated” bus drivers are livid with the service
cuts “enhancements”. This enhancement transit service decision actually followed recent “enhancements to the B38, B15 and B54 bus lines that didn’t get as much local media attention.
Now the (mostly) boyz and galz at the MTA are taking their enhancement ax to Queens as they tried to sneak an expansive new city bus route redesign map on the world’s borough. And it’s a doozy, as it reveals more truncated routes, bus reductions and the elimination of bus stops. The MTA even had the audacity to hold a workshop meeting in a basement rumpus room under the radar from residents of Jackson Heights in a lame attempt at obligatory transparency. Citizens still showed up in droves waiting to get in to rage at Andy Byford’s face about the “enhancements” coming to their busy route. All he could do was feebly say that they are not set in stone.
The whole reason for these cuts in service was based on dubious data claiming that people weren’t taking the buses as much. So the bright idea and solution is to make them less available. Got it. Somehow these data manipulators (datanipulators?) contracted by the MTA weren’t aware of or too stubborn to recognize the existence of working people who didn’t work in Manhattan, elderly and handicapped people, teenagers, young and middle aged adults going on leisure jaunts would consider using the bus for transit.
So where and how does this correlate to the pleasure ferries for the rich, the millions of dollars all those bus service enhancements have to wind up somewhere. Well, the budget bill for these boats for the past 2 years is $637,000,000 and even with a spending freeze order for more Hornblower boats by Comptroller Scott Stringer. While the city provided the buses with only $250,000,000 during that time. Bill de Blasio and the fucking EDC has spent 2 1/2 times more funding the gentrification ferries than on the city buses since the boats set sail.
It’s bad enough that the NYC ferry is constantly vacant most of the time and doesn’t even compare to the millions of riders every day that take the bus to justify the inequitable subsidy and daily service funding, but even worse is that Hornblower is making the most money from it by just existing even though the city already had two reliable ferry companies. But wouldn’t it have made a little sense to align the Q22 with the ferry instead of having a private company shuttle transferring passengers around if they weren’t going to charge anyone? So taxpayers don’t have to subsidize Hornblower’s shuttle buses too? The same with the other ferry ports around the boroughs also.
But integration of the city buses and the ferry is far from the elitist mind of defiant hypocrite Mayor de Blasio. Because going by his recent decision to blow off the MTA’s capital plan meeting with Governor Cuomo and recent arrogant declarations of his disinterest of allocating funding to the transit system he’s also accountable for, it’s obvious he still doesn’t want to do anything with the buses at all.
Despite the colossal waste of money going into the water drifting boondoggle, it actually has made a little bit of progress regarding ridership with the addition of the Soundview port in the Bronx, which has made the ferries oh so less white in the past year. But the racial and class issue could have been remediated a lot more if de Blaz and the EDC would have gave the town of Canarsie a port stop, especially since the town actually wanted it. This would have done wonders for the income and race data being that the town and nearby Flatlands and Brownsville are mostly poor, middle class, Black and Spanish. But the Mayor and the EDC saw their petition and told them to drop dead. Unfortunately for Canarsie, the area has an inequitable lack of luxury towers.
There will probably (expectedly) be more belated revelations that will anchor the NYC Ferry with more unsavory things like rigged contracting and the expected donations from Hornblower to the constantly money soliciting and grubbing de Blasio while he continues to re-allocate city transit service funding on these subsidy leaking boats as the service expands to other locations in a few years like Coney Island, which at this moment predatory developers are looking to devour. Or “enhance”
de Blasio’s and the EDC’s enhancement of the breezy water transit for the tower people has led to austerity measures for the working people, aged and handicapped on the streets when it should be the other way around. A pointed ear alien once said that the needs of the many should outweigh the needs of the few. He also was very devoted to logic. And it is clear and obvious, just like this ferry report, that Blaz and the shitty EDC have no sense and never had any use of logic for the distribution of these boats. But they had the logistics for them. And it was for the people they prefer to convenience. And for everyone else that needs the bus, it’s all illogistics.
NYC to bus commuters. Drop Dead.