Ferries would offer free transfers during L outage

BY JULIANNE CUBA | It’s a-boat time!

Straphangers who board the fleet of ferries that would be dedicated to shuttling them across the East River from Williamsburg when the L train shuts down next year will get a free transfer to buses waiting for them on the Manhattan side, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Every $2.75 ticket for the Brooklyn–Manhattan water taxis, which would depart from the same port as the North Williamsburg stop on the New York City ferry service, would award passengers free admission on two Select Bus Service routes once they arrive on dry land at Stuyvesant Cove near E. 20th St. — unlike tickets for the citywide ferry system, which do not allow free transfers from M.T.A. subways and buses.

Riders would be able to purchase tickets for the boats at S.B.S. machines stationed at their piers on each side of the river.

The ferries would set sail Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to midnight and Friday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. once the L train’s Canarsie Tunnel under the East River closes in April 2019, officials from the M.T.A. — which would oversee the new ferry service — said at a meeting of Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 on Feb. 13.

Under the proposed plan, during peak commuting times, as many as eight of the ferries would carry up to 1,200 passengers in each direction per hour, according to the authority, which is working with the city’s Department of Transportation and Parks Department to finalize the scheme’s details.

Brooklyn straphangers would also still be able to sail to Manhattan on the citywide ferry service, which embarks from various points along the Brooklyn shoreline.

The announcement of the dedicated Williamsburg–Manhattan boats followed the release of other alternative transportation proposals that the city is envisioning to put in place during the so-called “L-pocolypse.” These measures include boosting service on the G, J, M and Z subway lines; adding extra subway cars to elongate G and C trains; creating a special high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane across the Williamsburg Bridge reserved for cars carrying a driver and at least two passengers during a to-be-determined “rush hour” window; adding a two-way crosstown protected bike lane on 13th St.; and adding new bus routes that would shuttle straphangers from the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge to crosstown buses on 14th St. and subway hubs like the Broadway-Lafayette St. station, which has the 6, D, F, B and M lines, plus the 4 train late at night, or the Prince St. stop, which has the R line, and depending on the day and time, the W, N and Q lines.

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