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Three articles:

[1]    Two new ferries to New York

12/04/01 By David Danzig Jersey Journal staff writer

Things didn't start so well 15 years ago for NY Waterway, the ferry service that celebrated its birthday yesterday by launching two new routes from Jersey City to Manhattan. On Dec. 3, 1986 - the day boats began shuttling people between Port Imperial in Weehawken and West 38th Street in Manhattan - only 23 passengers showed up, even though the trip was free that day. Taking the ferry to New York and back was considered arcane by some and not worth the trouble by most.

NY Waterway was dubbed "Arthur's folly," after its owner, trucking magnate and Port Imperial developer Arthur Imperatore Sr. His dream of restoring a mode of transportation across the Hudson River that had been popular in the 18th and 19th centuries was laughed at. But time has been good to NY Waterway: Today the company shuttles more than 60,000 people a day across the Hudson. 

It inaugurated two new routes yesterday, from Newport in Jersey City to West 38th Street and Pier A in Manhattan yesterday, bringing to 17 the number of New York-to-New Jersey routes NY Waterway now operates. Company spokesman Pat Smith said the Newport-Manhattan routes attracted 1,010 commuters in its opening hours from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. yesterday - numbers that Imperatore Sr. could only dream about 15 years ago.

Like the introductory route to West 38th Street, the new services ran for free yesterday, and company officials said they would continue as such for the rest of the week.

Even more routes are expected to be added soon. Service from Hoboken Terminal to midtown Manhattan is being "seriously considered," company officials said. According to Arthur Imperatore Jr., who runs the company with his father, ridership has nearly doubled from the 32,000 passengers a day before Sept. 11, when NY Waterway's 36 ferries played a major role in shuttling people from the ruins of the World Trade Center to New Jersey.

Part of that jump can be attributed to the closing of the PATH station in the World Trade Center, making the ferry one of the only direct routes to Lower Manhattan.

"We always knew the ferry would make a big comeback," Imperatore Jr. said yesterday. "We feel bad now, though, because part of our recent growth has a very tragic reason behind it."

To honor the victims of the World Trade Center, the company is naming four of its newest boats after people who had key roles in the events of Sept. 11, and it will donate $1 for every ticket sold this week to victims' relief funds. Looking back over the last 15 years, Imperatore Jr. said the most difficult thing was getting people to come aboard the ferries for the first time.

"It was hard enough to get people out of their cars and into the trains," he said. "But when we first introduced the service, people thought it was an antiquated way to travel. The only time they would get on a ferry was to go to the Statue of Liberty. But within two years people were singing a different tune. They loved it."

[2] Newport getting ferries to NYC


By John Petrick  The Jersey Journal staff writer

NY Waterway will start ferry service Monday between Newport in Jersey City and both West 38th Street and Pier A at the Battery in Manhattan.

Service on the new routes - planned before the transportation void created by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks - is free for the first week, in celebration of NY Waterway's 15th anniversary.

The new ferry runs will augment additional peak hour trains scheduled to start running along PATH's Newark to 33rd Street line, which has been overburdened since the World Trade Center station was destroyed Sept. 11. Starting Monday, three additional trains will run along that route from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Ferries to 38th Street and the Battery will be docked at the tennis court pier, two blocks from the Pavonia-Newport PATH station. Each will depart at 20-minute intervals from 6 a.m. to 9:40 p.m. weekdays.

NY Waterway recently added additional service from Colgate Pier in Jersey City to 38th Street, in addition to Lower Manhattan.

Since the Trade Center attacks, ferry ridership has more than doubled. NY Waterway now carries about 60,000 passengers a day. To keep up with the sudden demand, the company has leased whale watching boats and Fire Island ferries while it awaits the arrival of four new vessels it has ordered. In a bittersweet footnote to the added service, NY Waterway officials also announced that those four new ferries will arrive in the next few weeks and will be named in honor of several World Trade Center victims and the Port Authority executive who oversaw construction of the towers.

NY Waterway President Arthur E. Imperatore Jr. said he has decided to name one of the new boats Father Mychal Judge, to honor the New York City Fire Department chaplain and all the firefighters who died Sept. 11. Imperatore named another of the new ferries Moira Smith, to honor a New York City police officer and all the police who died at the World Trade Center. Another of the new ferries will be named Austin Tobin, for the executive director of the Port uthority of New York and New Jersey who oversaw construction of the World Trade Center. The fourth ferry is still to be named. The boats will be christened at a ceremony to be announced in the next few weeks.

"For years to come, the Father Mychal Judge and the Moira Smith will be in service on New York's waterways, a living reminder of all the men and women who served so valiantly on Sept. 11, 2001," Imperatore said in a prepared statement.

Also as part of NY Waterway's 15th anniversary, Imperatore said his company will donate $1 for each passenger trip system-wide on Dec. 3 to the Twin Towers Fund and to the NYC & Company Foundation, the latter whose goal is to restore New York's hospitality industry. "NY Waterway crews were on the scene on that terrible morning of Sept. 11, and we saw first-hand the selfless dedication of the firefighters, police
officers and paramedics who walked into that inferno," Imperatore stated. "This is a small token of our respect for those heroes and their families."

The ferry service helped to shuttle thousands to safety in New Jersey on Sept. 11 and transported supplies to rescue workers through the day.

Fares between Newport and Pier A will be $3 for a one-way trip, $25 for 10
trips and $80 for a monthly pass. Between Newport and West 38th Street, fares are $5 for one trip, $45 for 10 trips and $150 for a monthly pass.

While ferries have filled a huge transportation void left by the Sept. 11 disaster, many are finding that their daily commute has doubled in time and in fares.

[3] Jersey City gets 2 more ferry routes


Commuters to Manhattan will have another option starting Monday, when NY Waterway opens two new ferry routes from Jersey City.

One route will take 20 minutes to go to the West 38th Street Pier in Manhattan, while the other will make the 10-minute ride to Pier A at the Battery in Lower Manhattan. They will operate from a pier two blocks from the Newport-Pavonia PATH station.

The new services are designed to attract commuters who currently are riding on PATH trains that have become severely overcrowded since Sept. 11. At the Newport-Pavonia station, it has become routine for commuters to wait for several jammed trains to pass until one arrives with enough room to take more passengers.

Rather than view the new ferry routes as unwelcome competition, PATH officials said they were glad commuters would have another option, especially if it eases the crunch on trains.

After the terrorist attacks shut down the World Trade Center PATH station, the number of people riding ferries across the Hudson River doubled, to more than 60,000 passengers. NY Waterway already had opened a new route from Colgate in Jersey City to West 38th Street and has adjusted others to meet the growing demand. Company officials are not projecting how many people they expect will use the new service from the Newport-Pavonia station.

The fare for the trip between Newport-Pavonia and West 38th Street will be $5 for a one-way trip and $150 for a monthly pass. The trip to Pier A will cost $3 for a one-way fare and $80 for a monthly pass. For the first week, trips on the new routes will be free.

The boats will depart from Newport-Pavonia at 20-minute frequencies between 6 a.m. and 9:40 p.m.

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