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Letter: No Ferry Operator

However interested as I was to read about the groundbreaking for the new ferry terminal, did I miss the name of the ferry operator who will run the ferry service?

Consider this information from The New York Times, Dec. 28, 2009: “After five years and more than $5 million in government spending, commuter ferry service between Manhattan and Yonkers is about to come to an end. Having burned through all of the subsidies provided by federal and state agencies, the ferry’s operator, New York Water Taxi, made its final run up the Hudson River ending the service’s short second life and will leave Yonkers with a rebuilt downtown pier but no water link to New York City.”

Another thing that the public might have not been following was that in addition to the $8 million from the stimulus money to begin the ferry terminal building, the ferry terminal building contract was awarded to a non-union contractor.

In the movie Field of Dreams a baseball field was built in a cornfield and, magically, a baseball team showed up at the end of the movie to play on the field. Reality is not the movies. What happens if no ferry operator agrees to run a ferry? What happens to the building? Will we be like Yonkers, with a facility but no operator signed on to run the ferry? If there were operators who have expressed interest in running a ferry service shouldn’t this information have been made known to us taxpayers before the city went ahead with the ground breaking?

According to the ferry report prepared for the city by Urbitran, riders on the “proposed” ferry were supposed to be drawn from Glen Cove, Brookville, Port Washington and Manhasset. Ask yourself: why would a commuter to Manhattan from Manhasset or Port Washington sit in eastbound traffic?

Suppose, like the Yonkers ferry, this proposed Glen Cove Ferry does get an operator and then it fails due to lack of ridership. What will be left is an “iconic” building on the Glen Cove Creek.

Maureen Tracy