Brooklyn and Queens, Mayor Bloomberg has a present for you just in time for the holidays. The city has extended its contract with NY Waterway, the company that runs the East River ferry service. Even though the R train between Manhattan and Brooklyn comes back online in late 2014 and there are planned service improvement to other trans-river subway lines, the East River Ferry will continue to serve commuters trying to get downtown until 2019.
Crain’s New York reports that the ferry has been a wildly popular transit option for commuters coming from Queens and Brooklyn, seeing twice the number of passengers planners expected when the ferry was started in 2011.
But no good news comes without a catch: Weekend fares will rise to $6 from $4, and the number of weekend ferries will also decrease, though it’s not immediately clear by how much.
Of course, there remains the question of how long it will be before the city comes through on its promise to improve service and capacity on the L train, a line that sees more ridership on the weekend than it does during the week. Currently the ferry’s north Williamsburg terminal is mere blocks from the Bedford Avenue L stop, one of the busiest stops in the city.