Thank you ferry much!
The city is expanding free weekend ferry service between lower Manhattan and Red Hook, beefing up the amount of trips to retail giant Ikea and adding a new stop near the Fairway Market at Van Brunt Street.
The free ferry, which currently runs from the Beard Street big-box store to Pier 11 near Wall Street every 40 minutes on Saturday and Sundays, will start running every 25 minutes, making an extra stop on Van Brunt Street thanks to an additional boat provided by the city in partnership with Fairway and Ikea.
City officials said they hope that the expanded ferry service, which will operate from May 25 through Labor Day from 10 am to 9 pm, will be boost the local economy of the waterfront neighborhood where dozens of small businesses fell victim Hurricane Sandy.
“We’re making it easier than ever for New Yorkers to get to small businesses in the area to help the community continue to recover,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
The superstorm demolished Red Hook’s massive Fairway Market at the foot of Van Brunt Street with a vicious five-foot surge that toppled shelves, ruined thousands of pounds of equipment and left the megastore shuttered for four months.
More than 40 Red Hook businesses, including neighborhood favorites such as Bait and Tackle, Dry Dock, the Good Fork, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies, and Sunny’s Bar suffered severe flooding, loss of power, and immense damages after Hurricane Sandy.
“This is sure to be a major boon to the local economy and help Red Hook reverse the devastating effects after Hurricane Sandy,” said council Speaker Christine Quinn.
The additional Van Brunt Street stop along the new route is an old, currently unused, ferry landing. Free transfers connecting Manhattan-bound riders to the East River Ferry will also be a part of the expanded service.
Ikea’s regular $5 weekday ferry service, which was originally free, will continue unchanged.Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@