Are South Bronx residents adjusting to new ferry ?

Last few people boarding the 7:30 am ferry into the city.

BRONX – As Soundview residents are adapting to the new ferry, some fear it will become overcrowded because of the lack of public transportation in the South Bronx. Early one Wednesday morning,  just three weeks after the ferry launched, 30 Soundview residents were lined up on the dock, waiting to catch the 7:30 ride to the city.

For 61-year-old Nisa, a lifelong resident of the Bronx, the new ferry has been life-changing. Prior to the ferry, Nisa would take two buses and two trains to get to the city with a two-hour commute time. “Getting to the city in half the time I would normally get there is unbeatable.” Nisa said. “I also enjoy the nice breeze on the boat while I am riding into the city.”

On average, 18,000 people take the ferry each weekday and about 28,000 people on weekends, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The busiest times of travel are during the morning and afternoon rush hours, when people are commuting to work. “We have had a few instances of the boat maxing out due to popularity.said a spokesperson for the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Despite the new ferry, overcrowded transportation remains an issue because the population is growing.  There are nearly 200,000 people living in District 9, where the ferry is located and more than 62% of them use public transit to get to work. The city average is slightly lower, at 56% according to the 2013, five-year American Community Survey. This overcrowding problem has been in the district needs budget for the past two years.

Bus 27 has extended its route to provide transportation to the ferry. This route has experienced more than a 10% increase in ridership since 2010.

A petition to ask for additional ferry stations throughout the South Bronx for communities such as Throggs Neck and City Island, was created by a long time resident soon after the launch of the ferry. As of September 10th , 125 people had signed it.  The petition was created on, one of the largest petition platforms with over 200 million users.

“I used to ride the trains into the city but they were too crowded for me. The ferry can get crowded at certain times of day, but another boat would relieve that congestion during work hours on the ferry.” said 63-year-old Bronx native, Nelson, when asked about the petition.

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