Citywide Ferry Service Demand Already Exceeds Capacity

Roosevelt Island Ferry Likely to Sport a Familiar Theme: Overcrowding

Updated 1 year ago David Stone
Citywide Ferry needs more of these to meet demand...
Citywide Ferry needs more of these to meet demand...

When ferry service for Roosevelt Island begins launching from an all new landing steps from the Tram, expect to hear something familiar: "We couldn't get on. It was too full..."

Not long ago, we reported on noise complaints in communities already getting Citywide Ferry service.

As dna info reports, those concerns have largely been resolved.

But problems you may find worse than being awakened by blaring horns are almost certain to be part of the Roosevelt Island Ferry experience. 

Overcrowding Plagues the Earliest Opening Routes

Even before the South Brooklyn Route, the third of four announced so far, launched, discouraged riders were already being turned away, especially near the most popular landings, because there wasn't enough room onboard for them.

Problems are exacerbated when ferries land and no one gets off, leaving waiting queues stranded for a half-hour or more, hoping for better luck when the next boat arrives.

If you're thinking the problems are isolated to rush hours, the City reports that the worst crowding so far occurred over the Memorial Day weekend.

Complicating prospects for Roosevelt Islanders is the small size of the boats, maximum capacity: 150, coupled with the fact that ours is not a terminal station.

If travelers to and from Astoria, where our service originates, are as eager for the new water routes as we are, there's every likelihood that the ferries will sometimes be at or near capacity when they land here.

Locals looking to Citywide Ferry service as a way to avoid unreliable subways and overcrowding aren't going to find much relief.


Although nothing is yet set in stone, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who championed the ferry service, told a news conference that success with it is forcing his administration to think hard about ordering more boats to increase capacity or maybe even bigger boats.

Because a template is already in place and the way landings have been constructed, more ferries making additional stops is the more likely option.

We will keep you informed and hope the news will be more optimistic in the future.

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