Bayonne inching closer to installing a ferry


BAYONNE — Bayonne has long dreamed of a ferry connecting the Peninsula City to Manhattan. At a city council meeting on Wednesday, February 15, Business Administrator Joe DeMarco revealed that a meeting with the Port Authority (PA) is scheduled for Friday, February 24, where they will discuss a ferry location on the former Military Ocean Terminal Base (MOTBY).
“We’ve been quietly prodding them and talking to them to try to come to some agreement,” DeMarco said. “It’s in very preliminary stages, but we’ve received some good feedback from necessary parties at the PA that negotiations can commence about how to get a ferry from the MOTBY to Manhattan.”
DeMarco estimated the potential project to take around 18 months to complete after the City and the Port Authority come to an agreement.
The Port Authority, however, does not operate their own ferries. The City is looking to put a ferry terminal on a suitable plot of land and water, but much of MOTBY’s northern shore was sold to the Port Authority in 2010. Now, the City does not own any land with water that is deep enough for a ferry.
“We want to work out an agreement with the PA, which frankly is hard to come to agreement with sometimes. That’s a challenge in and of itself,” said DeMarco. “Then we go out to the market and request qualifications, find a reputable qualified operator who wants to operate a ferry that would benefit residents and commuters.”
MOTBY is an ideal location for a ferry, as thousands commute from and through Bayonne to Manhattan and Jersey City. A ferry would relieve the anticipated increase in rider volume on the Hudson Bergen Light Rail as a result of urbanization, while attracting new residents and developers.
Three of the most easterly districts of MOTBY were sold to the Port Authority in 2010, known as “The Landing,” “The Loft,” and “The Pointe,” on the base’s northern shoreline, the most likely location for a ferry.