Rely on the East River Ferry to get to work? Pleased that it’s back up and running from Greenpoint? Well, here’s some news to make your morning ferry ride even cheerier…
East River Ferry
Whew, that was a close one! Since the ferry landing’s mysterious tumble into the East River this winter, many of us wondered whether the pier would be up and operational in time for the G-train debacle. With mounting pressure from the public and Councilman Steve Levin, the owner of the India Street pier hustled to complete the new ferry landing just in the nick of time. Let us breathe a collective sigh of relief and cross our fingers the rush job didn’t compromise the quality of construction.
The temporary shuttle buses services from India Street to North 6th pier in Williamsburg will remain in effect until Wednesday. Click here for the summer service schedule.
After months of head scratching and hand wringing, it appears that work to repair the India Street ferry landing has finally visibly begun, just nine days before next Friday’s G-train closure plunges North Brooklyn into a five-week transportation brown out. It appears city officials are now “cautiously optimistic” that the landing’s owners will finish repairs before the G shuts down.
In our in-depth June 6 post on the topic, we noted a disconcerting lack of transparency about the repair process and called on local political leaders to pressure the city and the landing’s owners to publicly commit to a timeline that would ensure the ferry is operational before shutdown.
We’re well aware by now that the imminent five-week G suspension this summer (from late July through the end of August) has many commuters spooked. Adding insult to injury, the New York Waterways ferry landing at India Street—by far the second-best option for many—has been suspended indefinitely since February, when a gangplank failed and plunged into frigid East River waters moments after passengers climbed aboard.
This looming transportation brownout has raised eyebrows for months. At an April 3 meeting organized by State Senator Daniel Squadron at the Polish and Slavic Center on Kent Street, officials addressed community transportation concerns, including the ferry, but they declined to announce a reopening date. Now, almost two months later—and only eight weeks before the G shutdown—that date is still elusive.
The road to Pulaski bridge traffic jams and sweltering MTA shuttle buses is paved with good intentions. So, for the past several weeks, Greenpointers has been investigating the India Street Ferry closure to determine whether anyone can say with confidence that the ferry landing will be operational before the G shuts down.
(The answer: very likely, but not entirely certain.) Here’s what we found out:
I’ve said it before, I only go to Manhattan to visit the dentist, since finding a new dentist is the only thing more painful than going into “the city.” Otherwise I’m very content to stay on this landmass we know as Long Island and within the confines of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. But travel between the two sometimes illogically results in “having” to go through Manhattan.
With development on the East River waterfront outpacing transportation solutions, commuting remains a hugely unanswered question. In Greenpoint, with much complained about G service (which is only going to get worse before it gets better) and still no East River Ferry service at India St on the known horizon, maybe it isn’t too cockamamy of an idea to imagine a self powered wireless street car that runs along the Queens and Brooklyn waterfront between Astoria and Red Hook. Continue reading
The biggest craziest news in Greenpoint last week was the East River Ferry ramp collapse at India St Pier. No one was injured thankfully, but their motto, “Relax, we’ll get you there,” is a bit ironic.
There is no telling when service will resume from that location. In the mean time, passengers can take a FREE shuttle bus to No. 6th St. Us Greenpointers sure do love shuttle buses, right folks?
And finally there is some insight as to what happened. Continue reading
The East River Ferry is for many Greenpointers a great way to commute to the city and because of the recent collapse of the pier last week, you may have to find yourself an alternative mode of transportation for at least a few more weeks as the investigation continues.
A shuttle bus service has been announced that will take ferry riders from India St to North 6th St Pier beginning tomorrow, 2/18 during the morning and evening commute. Continue reading
We Greenpointers absolutely love riding on the East River Ferry, but what happened this morning around 9am at the India St pier is very unsettling.
The Daily News reported that after commuters had crossed the ramp and were safely on the ferry, the ramp detached and plunged into an icy cold East River. Needless to say, we are thankful no one was injured, but they were understandably pretty freaked out.
Service is suspended at this time and an investigation into WTF happened is happening. More photos after the jump! Continue reading
Boaters rejoice! The East River Ferry will continue to carry (some) commuters to work and (many) tourists to the Brooklyn Flea until 2019! But, seriously, any transportation vessel that makes the L train a little more bearable in the mornings deserves our everlasting gratitude.
Plus, riding a boat on a summer day is just more fun than cramming against the bodies of 50 sweaty strangers.
The ferry launched in June 2011 as a pilot program. Since then, close to 3 million passengers have cruised across the glorious brown-ish waters of the East River, tripling initial estimates. The ferry now carries 100,000 riders per month.
The only downside is that weekend rides will increase from $4 to $6. That’s a lot more than $2.50, so as much as we love getting to DUMBO in 10 minutes, the MTA wins the approval of our inner cheapskate.
Part of why Greenpoint is so special is because of our waterfront location. And while many still make disgusted faces when thinking of getting anywhere near the Newtown Creek or The East River, others are paddling up our local waterways and even fishing off our piers.
We still have a long way to go before we can even safely touch the water, but with more awareness and recreation on our waterways, the faster they will be cleaned up for future generations to enjoy.
City of Water Day, which is taking place this Saturday July 20th is “a celebration of the potential of the waterfront,” and lots of events are going on nearby.
The main events take place between 10am – 4pm on Governors Island and Liberty State Park in NJ, but many neighborhoods are participating as well.
The North Brooklyn Boat Club is paddling to Governor’s Island, where lots of fun events like a cardboard kayak race (and overnight camping) are taking place! NBBC’s paddling spots are full, but you can meet them there by taking the ferry over to Governors Island.
You can also reserve a spot on a free boat tour around the city.
While nothing specifically is organized on Greenpoint’s waterfront, enjoy a picnic in Transmitter Park or at the Newtown Creek Nature Walk or watch the sunset on the India St Pier or the Manhattan Ave Streetend Park. We have lots of waterfront access in Greenpoint.
If you want to travel to the other end of Brooklyn, Greenpointers who brought you the Newtown Creek Armada along with the Gowanus Dredgers & Brooklyn Atlantis are taking on our sister super-fund waterway, The Gowanus Canal with the Gowanus Voyage, an interactive public boat pond on the Gowanus Canal in which you can explore above and below the surface of this historic waterway by piloting miniature remote control boats and aquatic robots equipped with video cameras and environmental sensors. Gowanus Voyage will take place on Saturday, July 20th, from 1pm-6pm at the 2nd Street boat launch near Bond Street in Brooklyn and is presented with the support of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club. The rain date will be Sunday, July 21st.
Happy Water Day!