East River Ferry ramp plunges into Greenpoint waters
by Andrew Shilling
Feb 19, 2014 | 1059 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
North Brooklyn commuters just missed being part of a mysterious ramp collapse on the East River Ferry connection at Greenpoint’s India Street stop on Thursday morning just after 9 a.m.

Although service is currently suspended while investigators look into the reason why the gangway collapsed, it was announced this week that shuttle bus service would be implemented to aid displaced commuters.

“As we continue to work with engineers, along with the property owner of the India Street pier and the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), to determine the cause of the problem last week, we hope that this shuttle will provide our Greenpoint passengers with a viable alternate means to access our East River Ferry service,” said Paul Goodman, CEO of BillyBey Ferry Company.

State Senator Daniel Squadron called for a shuttle bus should to be implemented to help commuters reach the nearest ferry stop during repairs.

“In Greenpoint, the East River Ferry provides vital transportation to a community in deep need of it,” Squadron said. “Critical repairs and safety reviews could strand many commuters as the India Street terminal is kept out of service. Shuttle buses to the nearest ferry stop will go a long way for many commuters.”

EDC announced that a free shuttle service would be implemented starting on Tue., Feb. 18 for a minimum of two weeks, pending ridership.

Southbound morning rush hour shuttle bus service begins at 6:50 a.m. and runs every 20 minutes until 9:30 a.m., starting at the corner of India and West streets with stops at Franklin Street at the B32 bus stop between Noble and Oak streets and ending at the North Williamsburg ferry landing at North 6th Street.

Northbound evening rush hour service will start at 4:30 pm. and also run every 20 minutes until 7:20 p.m., beginning at the North Williamsburg ferry landing with stops at the B32 bus stop and on Greenpoint Avenue.

The shuttle will also make stops at Franklin and India streets with a final drop-off at the India Street Ferry Landing.

“While I’m grateful that no one was hurt, the ferry ramp collapse in Greenpoint raised a number of safety concerns that I hope NY Waterway and the EDC will quickly investigate so this vital service can be restored,” Squadron added in a statement following the incident.

A spokesperson with NY Waterways assured that, “A team of engineers has been sent to investigate the cause and repairs will be made as soon as possible.”

The spokesperson added that, “The safety of our passengers and the waterfront community is our number one concern, and thankfully no injuries were reported.”

Councilman Stephen Levin spoke with the EDC just after catching word of the accident and said he too is looking forward to an explanation.

“It is deeply troubling that lives were put at risk this morning,” Levin said. “The East River Ferry is an important transportation option for an underserved community in Greenpoint, but residents need to have complete assurance that their trip will be a safe one.”

EDC president Kyle Kimball said everything is being done to restore service and thanked Squadron for work in initiating the implementation of shuttle service in the region.

“East River Ferry service has proven to be a reliable piece of New York City’s transportation infrastructure, and it is imperative that those who typically ride from Greenpoint continue to have travel options while the terminal is temporarily out of service,” Kimball said.

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