New Ferries from Monmouth County
Monmouth County commuters who take the ferry into Manhattan will ride in style as a pair of new ferries is expected to depart from the Belford terminal beginning in January.
A 400-seat ferry, dubbed the Molly Pitcher, was unveiled Tuesday by NY Waterways Founder Arthur E. Imperatore and Monmouth County Freeholder Serena DiMaso.
The Molly Pitcher is slated to start taking commuters to northern New Jersey and Manhattan in January 2015. A second ferry of similar size will be called the Betsy Ross, and is expected to start running mid-2015. Both vessels are currently being built in Tuckahoe-based Yank Marine.
NY Waterways is the country's largest ferry service, carrying 2,000 commuters from Belford each day. The new boats will serve to replace older vessels currently in operation.
The 109-foot Molly Pitcher will have a slew of amenities including Wi-Fi and flatscreen televisions. Imperatore boasted it will also have a luxurious feeling akin to "riding in an old-fashioned movie house."
The boats are also touted as being more energy efficient, no longer using outdated jet propulsion engines which can clog during icy weather, instead favoring propeller systems.
Taking a trip on the ferry will come with a hefty price, however. A round-trip fare will cost upwards of $40 and monthly passes nearly double that of traditional rail and bus options.
Imperatore said unlike NJ Transit, they aren't subsidized. However, he said the premium cost translates to a commute with almost no delays and is nearly two hours shorter than other options.
"You probably save on average of 10 to 12 weeks a year. It's worth a lot money given the extensible level of economic income down here," he said.
Freeholder DiMaso said having the ferries stimulates economic development in Monmouth County, attracting New York City professionals who want to move south into the suburbs but fear an arduous commute each day.
"They have the opportunity to go to work in New York City, without sitting in all that traffic," DiMaso said. "I know I've done it myself and it's not fun."