A Hudson river ferry is providing a new option for commuters on the west side of Manhattan. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
It was the maiden voyage of a new ferry route along the far west side of Manhattan Monday morning, and the launch of a campaign to get commuters on board - a push the weather seemed to be cooperating with.
"It was wonderful. It is was a fabulous day. If you want to commute, it's a great way, a great stress-free way to get downtown back here in wonderful midtown Manhattan on this glorious day. It's just fabulous," said Michele Mason, a ferry passenger.
The pilot program run by New York Water Taxi will run during the morning and evening rush hours. It's a 15 minute ride between 44th Street and the World Financial Center, two neighborhoods that have been going through residential and commercial building booms.
"As we see more people coming to the waterfront, the best way to get around the waterfront is on the water. So we wanted to provide additional ferry transportation to the parks as well as for commuters," said NY Water taxi President Helena Durst.
"In the last 10 years, our neighborhood has grown by 18 percent and as you can see, towers there, there are about 3,000 families here. We really need a lot of transportation and linking people to their job," said Community Board 4 Chair Christine Berthet.
In Lower Manhattan, Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay Hughes says the roads can't handle any more cars and the subways can't fit anymore passengers.
"No additional trains can be added to the schedules during rush hours because the tracks they are using are already handling the maximum number possible," McVay Hughes said.
Over the past decade, ferries have become an increasing popular option for commuters.
"It's a renaissance of ferry transit in New York. The East River ferry service, this new service, people are rediscovering a way to get around New York that's fun, unusual, refreshing and often a lot faster then driving or taking a subway," said Roland Lewis of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.
The commute will cost $8 round trip, with lower rates for daily riders. But this week, it's free for anyone who wants to test his or her sea legs and try the water route to work.