Lhota not so keen on the ferry fare idea


Yesterday, I wrote about the need to better integrate the East River ferries with the rest of the city’s MTA-run transportation network. Today, MTA head Joe Lhota splashed some cold water on that idea. While speaking at the Regional Plan Association’s annual conference — more on that on Sunday night — Lhota spoke broadly of supporting a MetroCard-based fare payment system with the ferries but stressed that a free transfer isn’t the way to go. “The MTA is in no position to share its revenue with the ferries,” he said.

So let’s amend the idea a bit: Instead of a free transfer, the ferries become another part of the MTA payment network akin to the express buses. These rides cost more than a regular fare, but you can still use a pay-per-ride card on them. Still, though a transfer has to be a part of the equation somehow to make sure riders are being encouraged to use transit without having to pay two fares. Somehow, the revenue and subsidies have to work out so that the MTA isn’t losing money, but riders shouldn’t be either.

7 Responses to “Lhota not so keen on the ferry fare idea”

  1. JamesL says:

    Why shouldn’t the riders lose any money? The large subsidies on the ferries indicate that it isn’t a particularly efficient service. I haven’t heard a very compelling case for why ferry riders deserve most of the cost of their ride chipped in while other transit riders pay for most of theirs.

    • Clarke says:

      Possibly because it’s cheaper than building out new transit service to these destinations (a Kent Ave station on the L, a new East River tunnel at 23rd St to Greenpoint, a Kent Ave/mid-bridge stop on the J) to replicate the service of the ferry.

  2. Anon says:

    I guess he thinks its a ferry bad idea.
    (sorry couldn’t help myself)

  3. Jim O'Grady says:

    To Lhota’s credit, he said he’s reviewing the current bus connections to the private ferries to see if the MTA can make them better. (I didn’t have time to put that in my story.)

  4. Al D says:

    Turf war. City v. State

  5. TP says:

    The express buses are still run by the MTA, right? Wouldn’t a better example be the PATH train and Westchester Bee-Line, which are not, yet still accept MTA Metrocards?

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