Why would Hoboken Mayor Roberts want local residents to bail out a failing ferry system? A) To lull ferry riders prior to May's municipal election B) To create another bonding opportunity for his contributors or C) Because he doesn't realize how serious NY Waterways' problems really are.
My guess would be D) all of the above.
Despite great public demand and enormous public subsidy, NY Waterways has managed to bring itself to the brink of financial collapse. While ferry service across the Hudson can and must be preserved, turning it over to three municipalities and the Hudson County Improvement Authority seems like a misguided approach. This is not a local problem to be solved by Weehawken, Hoboken and Jersey City and the HCIA. This is a regional problem, and it demands a regional solution.
I can think of no justification for local communities to subsidize commuters from Summit and Saddle River when there is a proper body to deal with transaction across the Hudson River already in place. The Port Authority has the expertise, the financial capability and the mandate to deal with regional transportation issues. It was established in large part to spread the cost of these solutions across all who benefit from them.
I call upon Mayor Roberts and his fellow mayors to petition the Port Authority to address this important issue. If instead they persist in this harebrained adventure, their first step should be give the governing body members and the public the chance to ask their own questions and get their own answers. I hereby call upon Mr. Arthur Imperatore, head of NY Waterways, to come before a joint session of the Hoboken, Weehawken and Jersey City councils and explain to these councils and the public the true story behind the impending collapse of our ferry service.
Only with a full discussion and disclosure could taking over NY Waterways begin to make sense. But wouldn't enlisting the Port Authority be a better place to start? Councilwoman Carol Marsh