A local ferry advocacy group criticized the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) after its latest update regarding the possibility of future ferry service in Coney Island.
The NYCEDC sent a letter earlier this month to Council member Mark Treyger and outlined the current state of the ferry’s expansion plans. Treyger called it an “initial step towards expansion” but said “we still have more work to do.”
“As we did in the 2013 Citywide Ferry study, we will commit to including Coney Island and Canarsie in future studies,” Executive Vice President Seth M. Myers wrote in the letter, which largely reflects the same exact message the NYCEDC has reiterated as of late.
The NYCEDC told Coney Island News earlier in the summer that if “ridership demand is high and service is successful, then we may be able to consider other opportunities for expansion to more communities, including Coney Island.”
Daniel Ioannou of “Coney Islanders 4 Ferry” wonders why residents of Coney Island should have to wait around while the city tests the ferry in other locations.
“Why should other neighborhoods determine Coney Island’s fate? Coney Island is a densely populated neighborhood that is rapidly growing and has terribly long commute times,” he said. “Unlike other neighborhoods, it is also the largest destination for tourists outside of Manhattan.”
The ferry group has reservations about the way the city carried out the last feasibility study and is concerned that the next one could also be ridden with errors.
“In the letter, NYCEDC’s Executive Vice President Seth Meyers uses the term “commitment” a couple of times,” Ioannou said. “Where was the commitment from the NYCEDC in the 2012 Coney Island Ferry Feasibility Study?”
Ioannou noted that the previous feasibility study factored in a $6 price instead of the current fare of $2.75, which he says affected the measurement of potential riders. Furthermore, he said that it is an “unjust double standard” to assume that the Coney Island Creek is too far of a walk considering the quarter-mile walking distance of the ferry Rockaway Beach.
“The NYCEDC must implement corrective measures ASAP as Coney Island is owed a new ferry feasibility study that is free of botched data and numbers,” he said.