Expanded Yonkers-manhattan Ferry Service To Launch On Monday

Officials say new Midtown stop will draw more riders, federal funding.

The two-year old New York Water Taxi service operating weekdays from the Yonkers Pier to two stops in Lower Manhattan is expanding its service to include a new stop at in Midtown thanks to state economic development funds secured by the city, Mayor Phil Amicone announced today. The expanded service will launch on Monday, August 3.

The new funding will allow current ferry service from Yonkers to Battery Park and Wall Street to continue, with an added stop at West 39th Street, for at least another three months. The new stop is expected to grow ridership significantly as passengers traveling to Midtown will enjoy free (included in the price of the ferry ticket) shuttle bus service to several stops along 34th, 42nd and 50th Streets.

The temporary funding comes via a $300,000 loan from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), which approved the funds just last week. Mayor Amicone expressed his appreciation saying that the loan will allow a vital economic and transportation link to continue while city officials pursue more permanent mass transit funding.

?Ferry service from Westchester to Manhattan makes a lot of sense for commuters and for our local economies. It?s a stress-free, environmentally friendly way to get to work that?s quicker and without the hassle of parking, traffic or subway transfers. But even though the ferry has drawn a steady ridership, its appeal was somewhat limited because it only provided service to Lower Manhattan. We?re excited about this new service because it broadens the appeal exponentially to thousands of people who commute daily to Midtown,? Mayor Amicone said.

Launched in May of 2007, the ferry service has been an important piece of Mayor Amicone?s vision for a revitalized downtown Yonkers, drawing people into the city from across lower Westchester. The only express waterway service from Westchester County to Manhattan, New York Water Taxi has attracted a steady ridership averaging between 70 and 90 people daily.

But original funding for the ferry was scheduled to run out in mid-Summer, threatening to end the service altogether. That?s when city and state officials stepped in to expand the service with temporary funding from ESDC.

Yonkers Waterfront Development Director Jim Pinto expressed confidence that the retooled service would attract enough new riders to make it viable over the long term. ?We believe we?ll see a lot of new riders because people have been asking if we can add a Midtown stop since we launched two years ago,? he said.

Also included in the ESDC loan, is funding for an aggressive marketing campaign that the city and New York Water Taxi will implement after Labor Day in order to trumpet the new service to an expanded audience. Pinto added, ?The new marketing approach coupled with the added Midtown stop will undoubtedly add to the success of the service.?

Two daily trips depart Yonkers Pier at 7:00 and 7:50 a.m., with return trips arriving back in Yonkers at 6:27 and 7:27 p.m. The added Midtown stop is not expected to alter arrival and departure times. An individual fare for monthly roundtrip service is $320.

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