As you may have already read in the Times, Post, Brooklyn Paper or Wall Street journal, Greenpoint and Williamsburg are centerpieces of a renewed effort by the Bloomberg administration to create a viable ferry commuting culture along the East River. Beginning in June a new set of city ferries will run a route from 34th Street in Midtown to Long Island City, Greepoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg, Fulton Ferry and the Financial District.
A much less frequent and in some cases seasonal service by New York Water Taxi serves some of these piers, but this new city-operated ferry (with fares ranging from $3 to $5.50 per ride, depending on where you get on) will run year-round, from 7am to 8pm on weekdays and 9am to 7pm on weekends, with boats every twenty minutes in both directions at peak times. In summer the route will extend to Atlantic Avenue and Governors Island on Fridays. The city has committed $9 million and pledged to maintain the program for at least three years.
Riders will be permitted to bring bikes on board, and at rush hours a complimentary bus running along 34th Street will take riders West across Manhattan when they disembark from the ferry. The new pier in North Williamsburg is at the end of North 5th Street in condo canyon. In Greenpoint the pier is at the end of India Street. The ferry launch in South Williamsburg—which is already used very sporadically by New York Water Taxi—is at Kent near South 11th at the foot of the Schaeffer’s Landing condo development.
Announcing the plan yesterday, city transportation official Walter Whitman explained the genesis of the emphasis on ferry commuting:
Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious
you are to me!
On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning
home, are more curious to me than you suppose,
And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more
to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.