Mayor de Blasio To Spend $43 Million To Buy More Ferries Despite Comptroller Objections

Steve Burns
September 09, 2019 - 8:49 am

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Mayor de Blasio is ordering the purchase of new boats for the city’s costly ferry system despite objections from the city comptroller.

Approximately $43 million will be used to buy more ferries according to de Blasio's plan which overrules the city's top fiscal watchdog decision.

Comptroller Scott Stringer had paused the mayor's plan to buy more ferries but the New York Post reports that de Blasio had decided to move ahead with it anyway.

"I don't know who negotiates these deals. But somebody's got to wake up and smell the coffee." Comptroller Scott Stringer said. 

Stringer told WCBS 880 earlier this year that the deal didn't meet basic standards in a system that seemed ballooning costs from $55 million in 2015 to more than $500 million now.

"Some of that increase is due to expanded service. But the rest of it is because the city negotiated a bad deal." Stringer added.

A spokesperson for the city's economic development corporation says in a statement the comptroller should stop standing in the way of New Yorkers who just want a better commute.

Transit advocates have assailed the ferries saying the city is dumping inordinate sums of money into a system that carries a fraction of the people served by the ailing subways and buses.

During the spring, approximately 18,000 people rode the ferries on an average weekday during the spring, with those trips subsidized at a rate of $10.73 per ticket, while an average of 5.4 million people ride the subway, and 1.8 million take the bus each weekday according to the New York Post.

More than 62,000 trips were made daily on CitiBikes in May.