New Yorkers skeptical of proposed ferry network, but could it work here?

Almost exactly six years ago, UrbanCincy proposed a comprehensive water taxi network for Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Right now, New York City is looking at expanding and developing a comprehensive, city-wide ferry network. The idea has been proposed there before, but it is being met with skepticism due to a perceived inability to provide the much greater amounts of capacity that are needed there. More from Second Avenue Sagas:

Let’s stop to acknowledge that ferry service can be useful. It’s a complementary element of a robust transit network that can bridge awkward gaps…That said, no matter how many times politicians leap to embrace ferries, the same problems remain. It is, flat out, not a substitute for subway service and, because of the scale of ridership figures and planned routing, won’t help alleviate subway congestion. If it takes a few cars off the road, so much the better, but the mayor should be looking at high capacity solutions to the city’s mobility problems.

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  • David Cole

    Sometimes I think Second Avenue Sagas likes to complain about stuff just to hear himself complain, but in this case I share his concerns. Some sort of water taxi service might work better in Cincinnati because the distances are shorter, but the same fundamental issues remain.

    • A water taxi system would be great here. Something similar to the one in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area.

  • James Bonsall

    I doubt a water taxi service would work. When Louisville’s Sherman Minton Bridge shut down for six months (aka “Shermageddon”), the mayor started a ferry service using a very nice city owned cruise boat for $1 each way with service every 20 minutes for morning and evening commutes. The problem with it is that the majority of the time in traffic was getting to the two existing bridges. Once somebody was at the waterfront, it was very little additional time to actually get across the river. The ferry was discontinued after 3-4 weeks due to cost and lack of use. Being the transit nerd and civid-minded person that I am, I rode it everyday, but it wasn’t a time saver which meant there was little incentive for anybody to take it.

    I would expect the same thing to happen in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. By the time people get to the Ohio River, they could just cross one of the local access bridges to get to downtown Cincinnati. If somebody doesn’t have a car, a TANK bus would provide faster service than a ferry likely could.