Coney Island Ferry Revisited

With the city trying to breathe new life into Coney Island, they’re also looking to revive a dead idea: ferry service.

Following last week’s announcement that the city purchased 6.9 acres of amusement district real estate from Thor Equities developer Joe Sitt for $95.6 million, they have started a consultant search to reevaluate Coney Island’s potential for ferry service to Manhattan and northern Brooklyn. If the site is deemed worthy, it stands to receive $3.2 million in federal transportation funding.

The idea was first visited in July, when New York City Economic Development Corporation held a public hearing at Kingsborough Community College to gain feedback on several potential ferry landings around the city, including Sheepshead Bay. Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach residents speaking against the proposal dominated the meeting. But there were also numerous leaders from Brighton Beach and Coney Island who expressed concerns about the proposed ferry’s impact on pollution, saying that it would endanger beach-goers and the area’s ecology.

EDC’s Senior Vice President of Maritime, Venetia Lannon, at the time suggested the proposals for southern Brooklyn were dead on arrival, adding “If I were to take a poll tonight, I think it’s against.”

Though the EDC made no public statement about a final decision in Coney Island following the July hearing, the search for a consultant looks as if they might pursue plans despite resident’s objections.

July’s proposal suggested a $6 ticket for a 40-minute ride to downtown Manhattan.