Mayor Fulop Reduces Transit Fares & Expands Ferry Services for Low- and Moderate-income Households, Closing Transportation Gaps in Areas Most in Need
Posted on 05/17/2023

Resolution to Select NY Waterway for Services at City-owned Ferry Terminal

 JERSEY CITY, NJ – Mayor Steven M. Fulop joins Councilwoman Denise Ridley and the Department of Infrastructure to announce a resolution awarding a contract for services out of the Port Liberte Ferry Terminal, which the City of Jersey City recently acquired to restore the only ferry service outside of downtown, promote ridership, and ensure residents in low- and moderate-income communities have greater access to affordable and efficient transportation options.

Following a thorough RFP process, the resolution selects the NY Waterway to provide ferry services five days a week at the Port Liberte Ferry Terminal on Jersey City’s southernmost coast in Greenville. Additionally, utilizing $4 million in State grant funding, ferry fares to and from the Port Liberte terminal will be discounted by nearly 40% from previous levels to $8.00 each way.

The resolution will be introduced at the next City Council meeting on May 24, 2023.

“We acquired the ferry terminal to have an active role in subsidizing rates and providing greater and more equitable access to critical transportation services that our residents from Greenville to Bergen-Lafayette need,” said Mayor Fulop. “We are exceeding our goals in closing transportation gaps and expanding our transit infrastructure through Via Jersey City, which we launched in 2020. The Port Liberte Ferry Terminal was previously an underutilized asset. With this resolution, we will make the most of our existing resources and connect residents to the terminal who may not otherwise have access to ferry services.”

The City will provide enhanced transit service from the Greenville community to the Ferry Terminal through the City’s on-demand microtransit service, in partnership with Via, and expanded Citi Bike stations in the Greenville neighborhood. These services will provide enhanced transit connections for Jersey City residents with a focus on areas with limited access to public transit.

“Our goal is to increase ridership and ensure a robust service that residents throughout the City can rely on. We are doing that here by leveraging the City’s existing microtransit systems, which have proven to be successful in connecting residents to essential destinations such as major transit hubs, jobs, schools, medical services, and civic institutions,” said Barkha Patel, Director of Jersey City’s Department of Infrastructure. “With this latest expansion, we are advancing the City’s goals of providing sustainable, smart, and efficient transportation infrastructure for our community.”

“The ferry terminal was historically limited to residents of Port Liberte due to its relatively isolated location. However, our efforts today will open the doors to additional opportunities for residents, especially in our lower-income areas. This is the type of outside-the-box thinking that is changing the way municipalities approach long-standing systemic issues and social equity overall,” added Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley.

NY Waterway had previously operated out of the Port Liberte Ferry Terminal until service was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has yet to resume. In 2022, Mayor Fulop proposed the acquisition to provide residents of the Greenville and Bergen-Lafayette neighborhoods with another public transit option to New York City. The ordinance to acquire the terminal for $1.00 was passed by the City Council last June.

Pending approval of the contractual agreement by the Municipal Council, ferry service is expected to resume this summer.

“NY Waterway is delighted to be provisionally selected as the new operator for commuter ferry service out of Port Liberte,” said Armand Pohan, NY Waterway’s President and CEO. “We submitted a highly competitive service proposal and are thrilled that we are getting the opportunity to fulfill it. We look forward to finalizing our agreement with Jersey City and launching this new service as soon as possible.”

Ferry services at the Port Liberte Ferry Terminal began operation in April 2003, providing residents with a 17-minute direct trip to Pier 11 in Manhattan. The average annual ridership for the route was approximately 83,000. The one-way fare rate for adult riders in 2020 was $13.00.

When ferry service stopped in 2020, Jersey City launched an on-demand microtransit service in partnership with Via to provide a more affordable transportation option that closes transit gaps. Since the launch, Via’s data show the City’s low-income and minority populations have benefited the most. Via currently completes approximately 13,000 trips per week. The Via service has successfully provided trips to residents in the Greenville neighborhood, with the Journal Square transportation hub being the most popular destination for commuters to take the PATH train across the Hudson River.

All media inquiries should be directed to Kimberly Scalcione at [email protected].