Commuter ferry service between Bayonne and Manhattan is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Port Authority Board of Commissioners has given the go ahead to a lease agreement with the Peninsula City for a parcel of land at the Port Jersey-Port Authority Marine Terminal, previously known as the Military Ocean Terminal.
The announcement comes just a day after Bayonne’s City Council announced it would take a vote at its next meting, scheduled for February 19th.
The $2.6 million lease with the city is for ten years. The ferry service is expected to begin this coming September. It will be provided by SeaStreak.
In a statement, Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said, “Expanding options for the growing population of commuters along the Hudson River waterfront is a critical part of this agency’s commitment to keep the region moving.”
Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-District 31, Bayonne) lauded Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis for his efforts in getting ferry service restored for the residents of the city. The Mayor said bringing ferry service back to Bayonne is another sign that the city is making great progress.
The City Council’s approval this week to vote on the lease agreement at its next meeting will allow for the construction of a $1.6 million ferry terminal on the south side of the former MOT. Bayonne has already received a federal grant totaling $650,000 to assist in paying for the project. Additional costs will also be provided by developers.
The agreement the Council will be voting on says Bayonne will lease the property from the Port Authority for $220,000 annually until SeaStreak begins making a profit on the service. Once that happens, the ferry operator and the city will reportedly split the profits.
Council President Sharon Nadrowski says the cost of a ferry commute has yet to be determined.