Biber Architects

Biber Architects

New York, NY


100 Ideas: 011 Free Ferries to All Boroughs

By jamesbiber
Feb 2, '12 9:57 AM EST

Ferries and other craft once plied the city's waterways in such numbers that the water was more crowded than the land. Since we're encouraging people to occupy the edges of the boroughs, we need more ferry service. If IKEA can make it work, so can the city.

We're almost there: the Staten Island Ferry is free (as it should be: it would cost more to collect the fares than the fares offset). Stepping off the land is an instantaneous way to gain a new perspective on the City, as well as a sense of quiet.

Think of it as an analog for Con Ed's effort to get you to use alternate energy sources even if it robs them of revenue; it avoids requiring them to build expensive generating plants. Taking advantage of the waterways is another way to save the boroughs from building even more surface (and underground) transport.

If water is the great new frontier territory of New York, we should be on our way to the next homestead act.