Could Added Ferry Service Lead to More Ferry Accidents?

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Highways, subways and buses may be the most common methods to commute to Manhattan, but Mayor Bill de Blasio is looking to change that with an increase in ferry service in the five boroughs. The mayor recently announced a plan for an addition of at least 18 ferries from 21 landing sites within the next two years to take passengers across the city’s waterways.

By the time all of the new ferries are up and running on the additional routes they are expected to make around 4.6 million trips a year on over 60 miles of water. With each vessel carrying at least 149 passengers, that is a large number of New Yorkers putting their safety in the hands of the companies and individuals responsible for the operation and maintenance of the boats.

While the new ferries are being constructed, the city is looking to upgrade six existing ferry landings and construct 10 new ones by investing $55 million in the project. The Department of Transportation has had to deal with eight incidents alone on the Staten Island Ferry, including five times when the vessel crashed into the pier it was to dock into. The most serious of these of course being the 2003 crash into the St. George terminal that killed 11 passengers and injured many others.

The new ferries will help service areas in which public transportation is limited including Rockaway, Bay Ridge, Red Hook, Astoria and the Soundview section of the Bronx. There is expected to be high ridership on the ferries since more than half a million residents are located less than a half a mile from a ferry landing and that the cost will be the same as a metro card swipe for a subway and bus ride.

The City’s plan is a noble one—increase transportation availability to more New Yorkers and hopefully decrease the amount of people riding the subway and driving on the already crowded highways. With this expansion plan though also comes the trust that officials are doing everything in their power to makes sure this is a safe ride for everyone. If you have been injured as a result of a ferry accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to help you through the legal process and holds those responsible for your injuries.