NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Ferry riders faced lines and overcrowding for the Tuesday evening commute.
With another warm day ahead, could we see a repeat?
The sunny day paired with spring break had many people thinking the ferry was the best way to get around yesterday – or so they thought.
Frustrated commuters said it was a battle to get on board.
“It was mayhem. It was just chaos all over,” one Rockaway man told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis. “When they know it’s the holidays… just add a few more boats and ease the people that take it on a daily basis.”
Riders were fired up over the overcrowding and what seemed to be too few boats along the East River.
“All the tourists take the ferry. It’s a great way to spend $2.75 cents, you can ride around on the water,” John Gehebe, of Murray Hill, said.
NYC Ferry alerted riders on Twitter, posting, “Due to larger than usual passenger volume, delays or disruptions may occur on all routes. Please allow for longer boarding times and follow directions of upland staff.” Service alerts were also posted on the NYC Ferry app.
A report released last month warned of these issues, in part saying NYC Ferry ridership is “seasonal and leisure oriented.” One graphic showed NYC Ferry ridership varies more by season than any other ferry network in the area – peaking in the summer months, falling drastically in the winter and then spiking again when it gets warm.
The nonprofit behind the report, Citizens Budget Commission, tweeted in response to yesterday’s delays, posting, “NYC Ferry is reporting delays due to high passenger volume: a reminder that its ridership is highly seasonal peaking during warm months. The high rate of leisure travel suggests the City can charge higher fares for occasional riders to offset costs.”
The city, however, says 87 percent of riders are commuters.
A spokesperson told CBS2 the summer schedule is still a few weeks away.
“Until Memorial Day Weekend, we’re operating on a spring schedule, which means boats run every 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the routes. Today just happened to be a hotter day than normal, and so we’re seeing an increase level in ridership,” Stephanie Baez said.
Once the summer schedule starts, ferries will run every 20 minutes or so, and more workers will be on hand to help with the crowds at the busiest landings.