NYC ferry system must ‘stabilize’ before it can expand, officials say

NYC ferry system must ‘stabilize’ before it can expand, officials say

New York Metropolis’s ferry system won’t be increasing within the close to future as town arm that oversees operations appears to stabilize its funds, officials testified at a Metropolis Council listening to Thursday.

The oversight listening to was the Metropolis Council’s first since Comptroller Brad Lander launched an audit in July that discovered town’s Financial Improvement Company didn’t disclose $224 million in ferry-related funds between 2015 and 2021. The EDC is a quasi-city company that screens the non-public firm that oversees the ferries. Officials mentioned it has begun its seek for a brand new operator, which is able to start on Oct. 1, 2023.

“Under the Adams administration, we have entered a new phase of NYC Ferry … and we are focused on cost-efficiency, to ensure NYC Ferry’s sustainability,” mentioned Joshua Kraus, EDC’s chief infrastructure officer.

“As the system stabilizes over the next few years, we can then evaluate if further expansion makes sense, and if so, where,” he continued. “But we are not looking to expand the system right now.”

Lander’s audit was rolled out with a lot fanfare at a press convention in decrease Manhattan, marred former Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s short-lived marketing campaign for the newly drawn tenth Congressional District. The ferry system was a signature initiative of de Blasio’s mayoralty.

The comptroller’s audit additionally referred to as into query “decisions that added considerable cost to the city” whereas largely benefiting the non-public operator. It particularly cited the acquisition of latest ferries from the operator at a better price.

The comptroller has urged EDC to recoup $12 million in overpayments to the operator, Hornblower, “a recommendation that EDC flatly refuses to consider,” Lander wrote in a letter introducing the audit.

Ferry officials stood by their choice to not recuperate these bills as urged by the comptroller.

“We believe we paid the right amount for the services we got,” mentioned James Wong, govt director of the NYC Ferry. “We don’t feel like the comptroller understands the contract that we have with our operator and the responsibility we have for certain payments.”

However some Metropolis Council members mentioned they had been dissatisfied with this.

“I’m just trying to assess whether or not you’re looking at his audit because the purpose of his office is to audit and provide better government efficiency,” mentioned Council member Nantasha Williams.

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