South Amboy passenger ferry soon to become a reality
You can only fit so many cars on New Jersey's already-clogged roadways, said South Amboy business administrator Glenn Skarzynski.
Plans are in place to soon have a passenger ferry available to help alleviate some of that congestion.
Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the federal government came to South Amboy and asked to set up a temporary ferry service to accommodate commuters. The ferry was there for about 18 months to two years and then dismantled, Skarzynski said.
But now, there is an acute need for ferry service -- especially in the Raritan Bay area to access points in Manhattan. Mayor Fred Henry said the ferry project is critical too the continued development of South Amboy.
Skarzynski said he hopes the final engineering design will be done by mid-summer with construction starting soon after. The project has been funded with federal grant money administered by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. He said the federal grant was $10 million, with the city of South Amboy taking on the $1.5 million expense of the engineering. There may be a need for supplemental funds.
He did not have a specific timeline as to how long construction will take.
But Skarzynski said "you should be able to come to our fair city and enjoy a lovely ride on the ferry to Manhattan somewhere in 2020."
The ferry will start at the Radford Ferry Overpass and it's expected the transit from South Amboy to Manhattan will be 40 minutes, with stops at Wall Street and Midtown.
Eight hundred parking spaces will be available to start, Skarzynski said. If the ferry proves to be successful and more spaces are needed, then there will be plans for expansion.
While he doesn't know exactly how much the trip will cost to get across the river, he said the market usually calls for a $40 round-trip for a day trip. But like the buses and trains, most ferries offer a commuter package for a monthly ticket.
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