NY Waterway Hoboken-midtown ferry route to become permanent

The new route will connect passengers with NJ Transit trains and buses in Hoboken.

Commuters who used the emergency ferry route linking Hoboken, New Jersey and midtown during the New Jersey Transit train derailment last week will soon be able to take advantage of the route year-round.

NY Waterway officials announced Wednesday that the route will be made permanent beginning in September.

“We have been considering for some time the need for this Hoboken to midtown route,” Arthur E. Imperatore, founder and president of NY Waterway, said in a statement. “The success of this trial by fire proved that the time to act is now.”

The ferry, which links Hoboken Terminal with the West 39th Street midtown ferry terminal, was a popular option during the derailment, according to NY Waterway, with 4,000 NJ Transit ticket holders using the service over two days. By comparison, the more popular Hoboken 14th Street-midtown route had about 4,500 in ridership over the same time period, a NY Waterway spokesman said.

The big draw for the Hoboken Terminal route is its connection to a major transit hub, the spokesman said. Hoboken’s 14th Street terminal, meanwhile, only offers walk-up boarding with limited shuttle buses available.

“You’ve got trains coming in there, and you’ve got buses coming in there,” he said.

Details on the new route are still being worked out, but officials said the trip will take about 12 minutes from start to finish and will connect passengers with free transfers to NY Waterway’s crosstown routes.

The NJ Transit derailment at Penn Station on April 3 snarled rail service for 4 1⁄2 days as Amtrak, which owns the damaged track, made repairs. Long Island Rail Road service was also impacted.

Lauren Cook