Stamford Takes Another Look at Ferry Service to Manhattan

Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia has reportedly hired Hartford engineering firm Beta Group to explore the idea of establishing a ferry service at the south end of Atlantic Street.

With the redevelopment of Stamford's south end rapidly bringing in new residents and businesses, the City is reportedly reconsidering a proposal to establish a passenger ferry service to Manhattan.

According to a report in the Stamford Advocate, Mayor Michael Pavia has hired Hartford engineering firm Beta Group to explore the idea of establishing a ferry terminal at the south end of Atlantic Street.

A feasibility study from the firm should be completed by the end of this year, according to the report.

The City has considered the idea in the past: A 2007 feasibility study by Urbitran Associates identified the Brewer's Yacht Haven West boatyard as a potential site for establishing a passenger ferry service, according to the report.

In exploring the proposal, City officials will need to consider whether there is adequate demand for ferry service and if it would be economically feasible to operate. For example, would a ferry service be able to compete with Metro-North's New Haven Railroad in terms of fares and speed? How many commuters would be willing to pay more to take a "scenic" ferry ride to Manhattan as opposed to the train? And what about the potential environmental impact?

According to the Advocate, the 2007 Urbitran study estimated such a service would require a $3.7 million annual subsidy to cover fuel and other costs.

A conceptual plan for the proposal reportedly calls for space to dock two 90-foot boats with a capacity of 150 passengers each.

Meanwhile ridership on the privately-run ferry service to Long Island out of Bridgeport, run by the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, has reportedly declined in recent years and never quite reached anticipated levels.

For more, check out the Stamford Advocate report.


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