I have always had a rational view of what is best for Hoboken. Working in New York, I see how trans-Hudson commuters must navigate through increasingly crowded mass transit systems which have reached capacity, with systems failing frequently, causing frustrating delays and detours due to technical problems that affect the PATH, NJ Transit and buses. As a commuter, I must depend upon these transportation systems to survive.
I want NY Waterway to utilize the land that they purchased last November, 2017 at the old Union Dry Dock site for the maintenance of a ferry fleet that carries 30,000 commuters every day because I believe in their taking advantage of a site that has been a working waterfront for over a 100 years. NJ Transit depends upon NY Waterway as a partner in providing the commuting options for daily travelers to get to their jobs because so many things can go wrong for thousands of commuters in New Jersey that they must rely upon each other. The old Union Dry Dock site is the most perfectly readily equipped and centrally located piece of land for the ferries to effectively continue to serve commuters in our densely populated Hudson County as well as help out in emergencies along the New York skyline.
Much has been said of a study done in 2009 to find the best location for a ferry business that requires riparian rights since a ferry system’s whole existence depends upon docks and deep water to exist. But that study was done nine years ago and many of the places listed as possible sites for NY Waterway are no longer viable since they have developed in other directions as waterfronts developed rapidly for luxury waterfront housing so that the once plentiful number of docks that dotted the Hudson River has disappeared forever.
Hoboken already has 21 parks in our mile square town and much available park space along our waterfront. We must look at the reality that the land in question is in private hands and the City of Hoboken cannot take possession of something that the Governor of New Jersey and New Jersey Transit know is needed for mass transit operations. Hoboken has antiquated infrastructure that must be addressed with monies we have yet to find. We do not have the tens of millions of dollars that would be required to add another park to our town.
NY Waterway has offered to provide a waterfront walkway across its property so that a proper balance between an operating ferry system and a continuous public access to Hoboken’s waterfront can be achieved. Their maintenance facility in Hoboken, being close to all its ferry terminals, will efficiently serve the commuting public, while being a necessary partner to the other modes of transportation that New Jersey offers to the public. The Governor and NJ Transit both know that NY Waterway needs to obtain the necessary permits to begin operations along Hoboken’s waterfront. There is no other workable site for the ferries to go.