Residents of the North East Bronx have long endured some of the longest commute times into midtown. The subway is a long bus ride away. Promises to add Metro North Rail Road stops have yet to be fulfilled.
“If you don’t catch those buses or those trains at a certain time, you’re like taking a gypsy cab,” said Jersae Herbin, who lives in the Bronx.
“I have to walk because the bus takes too long. It is like every 30 minutes, every 40 minutes,” said commuter Jason Jones.
Now, residents are clamoring for a new transportation option, not by land, but by water. They’re hoping the City’s Economic Development Corporation extends ferry service to this corner of the Bronx.
“I do think it would help a lot of people here. It would bring Manhattan closer to our backyard,” said Janie Blanks of the City Island Civic Association.
The request follows this summer's launch of a NYC Ferry route between Manhattan and Soundview in the South Bronx. Hundreds of residents have signed a petition circulated by community activist John Doyle, suggesting a link between Orchard Beach and Wall Street.
“Orchard Beach is the way to go. It’s equidistant from a bunch of communities. It can serve City Island. It can serve country club, it can serve Pelham Bay. It can serve Co-op city and it can serve Pelham Parkway,” said Doyle.
Supporters of the Orchard Beach idea say it's a perfect spot for a ferry because it connects to major roads and highways. It also has a huge parking lot with thousands of spaces.
The Economic Development Corporation tells us it is in the final stages of studying whether to add more ferry routes around the city. But it would not say whether a route to the Northeast Bronx is part of that review.