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Greenpoint ferry stop finally set to reopen for passengers next week

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An NYC Ferry goes down the East River.
File Photo by Kevin Duggan

At long last, Greenpointers can get their sea legs again.

After more than a year of frustrating delays, the NYC Ferry stop on India Street in Greenpoint is finally set to reopen for passenger service on Monday, Nov. 14.

“Service will be restored to Greenpoint ferry stop on Monday morning, 11/14,” tweeted City Councilmember Lincoln Restler. “After too many months of delays, we’re thrilled the ferry will be back in Greenpoint.”

Monday’s scheduled reopening was confirmed by the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which operates the commuter ferry in New York City’s waterways. EDC worked in tandem with real estate developer Lendlease, which owns the pier; it’s the only privately-owned jetty serving the public ferry network.

“We are thrilled to be bringing NYC Ferry service back to Greenpoint and look forward to welcoming riders on Monday,” said Jeff Holmes, EDC’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, in a statement. “We appreciate the patience of Greenpointers, and all NYC Ferry riders, as we worked with Lendlease to safely restore the landing.”

The reopening has been a long time coming for seafaring Brooklynites. The ferry stop shuttered in May 2021 in order to repair the pier’s pile foundation. What was supposed to take a few months lasted well over a year as construction teams encountered numerous snafus and complications at the site leading to delays; most recently, Lendlease announced that its planned August reopening had to be delayed another few months to allow more time to anchor piles in the East River bedrock.

Lendlease declined to comment on the impending opening.

The stop on the ferry’s East River Line — which runs between Hunters Point South and Wall Street — has a long, sordid history worthy of walking the plank.

The landing was temporarily closed in Oct. 2020 after Lendlease bought the adjacent property at 1 Java Street, with some confused commuters being informed of the closure by a crew member shouting from a nearby ferry boat. Before that, passengers sometimes had to scale a fence and walk on construction barriers to get to the dock amid frequent flooding.

NYC Ferry set sail in 2017 as former Mayor Bill de Blasio hoped to form an entirely new transit network for Big Apple commuters. But it was controversial from the start: the system’s riders are disproportionately white and wealthy compared to straphangers on subways and buses, a phenomenon only exacerbated by the pandemic. Nonetheless, the city has sunk millions of dollars into aquatic transit via operating subsidies massively in excess of fares.

When service commenced, de Blasio projected a $6.60 subsidy per ride, which at the time cost the same $2.75 as a MetroCard swipe, and in 2021 EDC claimed the subsidy was $8.59. But an audit by City Comptroller Brad Lander this summer determined the subsidy was closer to $12.88 per ride, nearly 50% higher than EDC’s claim, meaning the city had underreported the cost of running the ferry system by nearly a quarter billion dollars over six years.

In September, EDC bumped up the fare to $4 per ride.

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