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Expanded, Free Red Hook Summer Ferry to Launch Memorial Day Weekend

 |  NYCEDC

New York Water Taxi, Red Hook. Photo credit: Retrofresh! via Flickr

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn today announced the launch of an expanded, free Red Hook Summer Ferry that will operate weekends throughout the summer. The expanded service will begin May 25th and run from Pier 11 in Manhattan to a new stop at Van Brunt Street and then to IKEA, both in Red Hook. The Van Brunt Street stop will activate an existing, currently unused ferry landing, providing convenient access to the neighborhood’s dynamic commercial corridor and connecting New Yorkers and visitors to small businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The second ferry boat will double the frequency of trips on weekends.

The Red Hook Summer Ferry will be free to riders and builds upon the success of New York City’s growing ferry network, including the East River Ferry, which later this week is expected to reach two million total riders in less than two years of service—more than double expected ridership. Free transfers will be available between the Red Hook Ferry and the northbound East River Ferry in order to connect to East River Ferry destinations in Brooklyn and Queens and further strengthen linkages in the City’s transportation network.

“Hurricane Sandy hit the Red Hook community hard, and that’s why we’re making it easier than ever for New Yorkers to get to small businesses in the area in order to help the community continue to recover. By expanding the already successful free IKEA ferry to another stop in the heart of Red Hook, and by connecting it to the East River Ferry that is celebrating its two millionth ride this week, the free Red Hook summer ferry will help boost the local economy. I look forward to the Red Hook Ferry’s opening this Memorial Day and encourage all New Yorkers to try it.” - Mayor Bloomberg

Two boats will run as part of the Red Hook Ferry, traveling between Pier 11, the Van Brunt Street landing and the IKEA landing. More details:

  • Service will run from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday, May 25th) through Labor Day Weekend, including the Mondays of Memorial Day and Labor Day (Monday, September 2nd). 
  • Each landing will be served every 25 minutes, improving upon the current frequency which is approximately 40 minutes. 
  • Free transfers will be provided northbound on the East River Ferry at Pier 11, connecting riders from Red Hook to Midtown Manhattan. 

The Red Hook Summer Ferry is the result of a partnership between New York Water Taxi; Billybey Ferry Company, which operates the East River Ferry; Fairway Market; IKEA; and the O’Connell Organization, which owns the pier at which the Red Hook Ferry will operate. All of the City’s partners are working to make the public aware of the new service to encourage ridership.

The Red Hook Summer Ferry expanded service will provide Red Hook businesses with additional, much-needed foot traffic and economic activity, as well as provide an additional weekend transit option for local residents to an area which is presently underserved by public transportation options. Hurricane Sandy devastated many area businesses, with nearly every business along Van Brunt Street, the main commercial corridor, suffering significant flooding and other damage. Industrial buildings along the neighborhood’s waterfront also lost equipment and inventory due to flooding, and residents on low-lying streetssuch as Pioneer Streetwere heavily damaged. (Watch NYCEDC's Getting Back to Business audio slideshows, featuring two Red Hook businesses impacted by Sandy, Token and Jack From Brooklyn.) The additional ferry service will be paid for by the City, with a partner sponsorship from Fairway Market, and assistance by IKEA through the expansion of their existing service.

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