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Pedestrian Ferry to Link Greenport, Sag Harbor

After a failed attempt at launching a pedestrian ferry between the two villages last year, Response Marine has partnered with the Hampton Jitney and approached both villages with a revised proposal.

A passenger ferry between the villages of and Sag Harbor is closer to becoming a reality this summer season.

Last year Response Marine presented the idea to the Greenport Village Board but the idea hit a stumbling block because Sag Harbor prohibited passenger ferries from coming into the village. However, public sentiment toward passenger ferries in Sag Harbor has changed and Response Marine’s Jim Ryan said the group has partnered with Hampton Jitney in the venture to make the program a success.

Ryan said the Hampton Jitney will run a shuttle between Long Wharf in Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton and East Hampton throughout the day. He said right now there are no plans for such a shuttle on the North Fork so it will not compete with local cab companies. The Greenport docks are also located near both the railroad and bus transportation hubs. He also left the proposal open to “any village that may want to participate in the future.”

The proposal is currently before the Suffolk County Legislature and is scheduled to be heard at the next meeting. Ryan said the company has asked the legislature to set the fares at $11 for one-way and $20 for round-trip passage.

Greenport Trustee Christine Kempner said she likes any idea that involves alternative transportation but also questioned whether or not Greenport and Sag Harbor residents would be able to receive a discounted rate.

Ryan said he had to look at operating numbers before he could come up with an answer.

Greenport Mayor David Nyce also said he would push for a discount for village residents but he said he understood this was a pilot program that needed to get off the ground. Nyce said he would understand if the discount did not come during the trial period.

Ryan has met with Village Administrator David Abatelli and Manager Jeff Goubeaud to look available slips. Ideally, Ryan said, they would like slip 3, which is right behind the carousel and visible to pedestrians on Front Street.

The mayor said he was not sure if the village would be willing to rent out a prime slip for activity that may disrupt other boaters. Instead, he suggested looking at the courtesy dock on the west side of the marina’s property. He said the location is ideal because it drops right into the village’s transportation hub.

Currently, the plan is to start after Memorial Day and run shuttles continuously from 7 a.m. and ending at 8:45 p.m. Ryan said they are making plans for the boat to be rented out for sunset and fireworks cruises.

Since the boat will be docked at in the evenings, Ryan said this proposal will help bring money to local businesses.

“Our purpose is to add more foot traffic and alleviate parking concerns in both villages,” Ryan said.

The village will hold a public hearing on the proposal on March 16 at 5 p.m.

forward thinking March 10, 2012 at 02:28 PM
faster to drive "round and lessw costly. do it once a week minimum . but the pass. ferry is great idea to incr. $$$ on n. fork - its a win /win
Paul F March 11, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Although the idea of alleviating summer traffic is appealing, this ferry seems to address a problem which doesn't exist, and will, in all probability CAUSE more traffic problems than it solves. Sag Harbor can't handle more summer traffic on Long Wharf, pedestrian or vehicular. in all reality very few, if any, will take the shuttles to points South. I mean, really! Friends will get picked up in, guess what, CARS! Greenport's "transportation hub" is poorly designed to handle anything more than the Shelter Island ferry traffic it does now. And with the potential re-installation of parking meters on Main Street, the limited free parking there will be gobbled up by shopkeepers and employees. This hub also would not serve as a useful connection point to anything except the Jitney, since the LIRR runs only about three times a day. The idea of alternative transport is one which should be looked into, but there are too many practical hurdles for this "ferry to nowhere" to be a viable one. Perhaps a ferry from Sag Harbor to the Orient Ferry would serve a much better purpose.
linda March 11, 2012 at 03:55 AM
These small Hamptons towns are too over run in the summer as it is why dump more people in the village?
Ralebird March 11, 2012 at 07:32 AM
Cab ride? What, in a water taxi? If you take your own car, you don't need a taxi. Read much?
Paul F March 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM
It's my daily commute: In winter: total time ~45 min - 1 hr. one way. In summer: total time 1 hr - 1.5 hrs.

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