Jersey City’s Port Liberte ferry service has resumed for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, offering free Via rides to the terminal and discounted fares.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
With $4 million from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, fares to and from the Port Liberte terminal will be discounted by nearly 40 percent from previous levels to $8 each way and the city first entered into contract negotiations on this project last June.
The city council finalized the deal with New York Waterway, who will be providing week day service, back in May.
“We are committed to making Jersey City a place where everyone can thrive, and expanding mobility is a key part of that effort,” said Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“We saw a unique opportunity with this underutilized ferry terminal and added free Via rides for direct access to encourage residents in Greenville and the West Side who are close in proximity but have been deterred for decades due to its secluded location.”
The administration will use grant funding to provide free transportation to and from the ferry terminal by leveraging existing transit services through Via, Jersey City’s on-demand microtransit service.
“This ferry terminal is the only direct access point to and from New York City outside of downtown. We want to make more affordable and efficient connections for residents who currently have less transit options, and I’m excited to see the positive impact it will have on our residents,” Jersey City’s Department of Infrastructure Director Barkha Patel.
In addition to the over 70,000 Port Liberte residents who live within walking distance from the revived ferry terminal, NY Waterway expects to see ridership spike as more commuters outside of Port Liberte take advantage of the new amenities and direct connections to the only ferry in the surrounding area.
To further expand connectivity, the City will use grant funding to build several new Citi Bike stations in the Greenville and Bergen-Lafayette neighborhoods for added mobility options to and from the ferry, including a station at the terminal. Bike carry-on fees will be waived at the Port Liberte terminal.
“NY Waterway is delighted once again to provide service from Port Liberte to lower Manhattan,” exclaimed NY Waterway President and CEO Armand Pohan.
“As the region continues to emerge from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to connect Jersey City communities to NYC with a transportation option that keeps cars and buses off bridges and tunnels.”
Now through Labor Day, any child under 12 can ride the ferry for free, with two free fares per adult. For more information on the reopened Port Liberte ferry services, click here.