December 23, 2004

Rescue plan for NY Waterway

NY Waterway and William Wachtel yesterday announced an agreement that, they said, "ensures that commuter ferry service on most routes between New York and New Jersey continues without interruption for the foreseeable future."

Wachtel has entered into an agreement to purchase from NY Waterway 16 ferries and to secure from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other parties the rights to operate the commuter ferry routes between Hoboken's Rail/Ferry Terminal and terminals in Jersey City and Manhattan. Pending these approvals, service will continue without interruption on these routes, Wachtel emphasized, including the service between Hoboken Rail/Ferry Terminal and Manhattan's Pier 11 and between Jersey City's Port Liberte and Pier 11.NY Waterway will operate the vessels and routes pending the completion of the transition.

NY Waterway commended Hudson County leaders, including New Jersey Assembly Speaker Albio Sires, State Sen. Bernard Kenny, Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and Hoboken Mayor David Roberts who "helped save commuter ferry service by winning the time needed to put together this private sector agreement."

NY Waterway says it is "committed to continue working with Hudson County leaders and its public sector partners at the Port Authority and NJ Transit during this period to assure the long-term future of commuter ferry service."

Under terms of the agreement, Wachtel will acquire the debt secured by the 16 vessels, debt which currently is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD). The agreement is pending MARAD approval.

According to yesterday's press statement, the agreement "enables NY Waterway to address its immediate financial problems and maintain service for the foreseeable future in the northern division of its operations between Weehawken and Manhattan, as well as on other routes, while it seeks long-term financial solutions."

Under terms of the agreement, Wachtel will have provisional rights to the following southern division routes:

    Hoboken Rail/Ferry Terminal to World Financial Center;

    Hoboken Rail/Ferry Terminal to Pier 11 at Wall Street;

    Colgate in Jersey City to World Financial Center;

    Liberty Harbor in Jersey City to Pier 11;

    Port Liberte in Jersey City to Pier 11.

NY Waterway will own and operate the following northern division routes:

    Port Imperial in Weehawken to Midtown Manhattan;

    Port Imperial in Weehawken to World Financial Center and Pier 11;

    Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken to Midtown Manhattan;

    13th Street in Hoboken to Midtown Manhattan;

    13th Street in Hoboken to World Financial Center;

    Belford in Monmouth County to Pier 11 and World Financial Center;

    Haverstraw in Rockland County to Ossining in Westchester County.

We'll have more detailed coverage of this story in the next issue of FERRIES & FAST CRAFT NEWS!


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