01/11/13 12:00pm
01/11/2013 12:00 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | The Greenport-Sag Harbor water taxi seen in its inaugural, and most likely last, season.

While he’s not officially pulling the plug on the Peconic Bay Water Jitney, partner Geoff Lynch told Times/Review Newsgroup Thursday it would take a “multi-million dollar” infusion of money for the Greenport-Sag Harbor water taxi service to sail again this summer.

Mr. Lynch, who confirmed an earlier report this week after he spoke at the Sag Harbor Village Board, is president of Hampton Jitney, which partnered with Mattituck businessman Jim Ryan in a pilot program last summer. Hampton Jitney can’t put up the money it would take to keep the enterprise afloat, Mr. Lynch said.

“We can’t do it alone,” he added.

There were no expectations the business would make money on the initial season, Mr. Lynch said, but there were higher expectations on numbers of passengers taking the excursions around Shelter Island to both forks.

At the end of the season Mr. Lynch told the East End Transportation Council — a group of representatives from the five eastern towns exploring transportation services — the water taxi carried about 15,000 passengers since it launched in June 2012. Those who used the service praised it, Mr. Lynch said.

“We had nothing but positive feedback,” he said.

He said he hopes that at some point there will be water-borne service on Peconic Bay such as the water taxi offered, but held out little hope for the 2013 season.

He is expected to carry the same message he gave to the Sag Harbor Village Board last week to Greenport at that Village Board work session on Tuesday, January 22, or the regular meeting on Monday, January 28.

jlane@timesreview.com

01/09/13 3:00pm
01/09/2013 3:00 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Peconic Bay Water Jitney that had a trial run between Greenport and Sag Harbor last summer is unlikely to return this summer.

Hampton Jitney president Geoff Lynch, a partner with Mattituck businessman Jim Ryan in last summer’s Peconic Bay Water Jitney pilot program, reportedly told the Sag Harbor Village Board Tuesday night he doesn’t expect the water taxi that ran between Greenport Village and Sag Harbor to float a second season.

It would take an infusion of money from the federal government for the partners to continue the service, Mr. Lynch reportedly told the Sag Harbor Village Board.

He said while the ferry service was a huge hit with riders last summer, financially it was “a bust.”

It wasn’t the first time that Mr. Lynch made the comments about the unlikelihood of resuming water taxi service next summer. In September, he told the East End Transportation Council he didn’t envision a second season. Despite running five trips a day and carrying more than 15,000 passengers since it launched the passenger service in June, he said then, “It’s not a moneymaker.”

Barring investors showing an interest in underwriting the service, he said it wouldn’t be running again. The East End Transportation Council has been charged with exploring mass transit alternatives for the region and has representatives from the five East End towns.

At the time, Mr. Ryan denied that the ferry service wouldn’t resume in 2013. He was unavailable for comment today.

Greenport Village Board member Mary Bess Phillips said Mr. Lynch has asked to make a presentation to that group at either at its January 21 work session or January 28 regular meeting. But she had no information on the content of that presentation.

j.lane@sireporter.com

09/08/12 7:00am
09/08/2012 7:00 AM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Mattituck business owner Jim Ryan aboard the water taxi earlier this summer.

Peconic Bay Water Jitney officials announced this week that its passenger ferry service linking the North and South forks will run through September.

The 100-day temporary approval granted in June by the Suffolk County Legislature allows the water taxi to shuttle passengers between Greenport and Sag Harbor villages until Sept. 28.

But ferry officials said Wednesday they believe they might be able to extend ferry operations an additional few days, if the Legislature approves an amendment to the plan during its next general meeting Sept. 13.

Mattituck business owner Jim Ryan of Response Marine, who launched the ferry plan jointly with Hampton Jitney president Geoffrey Lynch, said he and Mr. Lynch have decided to extend service past Labor Day to find out if the 45-minute ride is popular during September festivals in both villages.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to have a better look at the look at the off-season,” Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Ryan said he didn’t need additional approvals from Greenport or Sag Harbor to run the ferry until Sept. 28 because those municipalities already agreed to allow the pilot program to operate through October.

Although the ferry had low ridership when it first launched in June, Mr. Ryan said he believes the pilot program was a success. After this season wraps up, he said he will work with both communities to tweak any changes to the plan before reintroducing it to Greenport and Sag Harbor next year. Peconic Bay Water Jitney customers have also provided feedback by answering questionnaires while aboard the boat, he added.

“We’ll only move forward with the input and support of both villages,” Mr. Ryan said. “Otherwise we won’t do it.”

The September schedule runs Thursday through Monday with extra late-day trips on Fridays and Saturdays. There will be no ferry service on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

jennifer@timesreview.com 

06/19/12 1:38pm
06/19/2012 1:38 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Mattituck business owner Jim Ryan aboard the water taxi.

The Peconic Bay Water Jitney passenger ferry linking the North and South forks is expected to be operational June 30 now that the Suffolk County Legislature has unanimously approved the ferry’s fares, schedule and license.

Mattituck business owner Jim Ryan of Response Marine, who is proposing the 100-day water taxi pilot plan jointly with Hampton Jitney president Geoffrey Lynch, said the county’s approval was the final piece needed in order to launch the first-ever Greenport-Sag Harbor passenger ferry.

In an interview after the Legislature approved the plan Tuesday, Mr. Ryan said he’s “delighted” about the county’s decision.

“We’re printing the tickets right now,” he said.

The estimated 40-minute ride will cost $11 for adults one way, $20 round trip. Fares for children under 12 would be $5.50 one way, $11 round trip.

CHECK OUT A VIDEO FROM ON BOARD THE FERRY

Mr. Ryan said his brother, John, a Catholic priest, will bless the boat June 27.

Mr. Ryan had said he planned to shrink wrap the boat with Hampton Jitney’s colors — silver and green. But on Tuesday, he said he has decided to color the boat navy, gray and black.

This is the second time in the past two years that Mr. Ryan has proposed the alternative transportation project.

The most recent plan includes bus service to alleviate parking congestion in both villages. Hampton Jitney will shuttle passengers between Bridgehampton, East Hampton and the ferry dock at the north end of Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. On the North Fork, shuttle service will be provided between Greenport School and Mitchell Park Marina.

The 53-passenger vessel will tie up at Mitchell Park near the camera obscura.

The ferry will make seven trips from each port Sundays through Wednesdays, starting at 7 a.m. from Greenport. There will be nine daily departures from each port Thursdays through Saturdays.

The route between the North and South forks will hug the western shoreline of Shelter Island. During bad weather, an alternative route would move along the island’s eastern side. The ferry’s captain will ultimately decide the safest course through commercial channels, Mr. Ryan said.

The vessel was built in 2003 by Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport, Conn., for New York Water Taxi, which has leased it to Peconic Bay Water Jitney.

jennifer@timesreview.com

06/13/12 12:00pm
06/13/2012 12:00 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Mattituck business owner Jim Ryan aboard the proposed water taxi earlier this month.

The first-ever Greenport-Sag Harbor passenger ferry is poised to launch later this month now that the Sag Harbor Village Board has signed off on the plan linking the North and South forks.

Sag Harbor Village, which agreed last month to amend its anti-ferry code to allow the ferry company to operate on a 100-day trial, approved the Peconic Bay Water Jitney application Tuesday night. The final hurdle is the Suffolk County Legislature’s approval of the ferry’s fares and schedule, which will be voted on June 19.

The Greenport Village Board unanimously approved the ferry plan May 10.

Mattituck business owner Jim Ryan of Response Marine, who is proposing the water taxi plan jointly with Hampton Jitney president Geoffrey Lynch, said that after the county signs off on the plan, he expects the first ferry ride from Greenport to Sag Harbor to happen sometime between June 20 and June 28.

“We’re excited about carrying out the service we proposed,” Mr. Ryan said.

This is the second time in the past two years that Mr. Ryan has proposed the alternative transportation project.

The most recent plan includes bus service to alleviate parking congestion in both villages. Hampton Jitney would shuttle passengers between Bridgehampton, East Hampton and the ferry dock at the north end of Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. On the North Fork, shuttle service would be provided between Greenport School and Mitchell Park Marina.

The 53-passenger vessel would tie up at Mitchell Park near the camera obscura.

If approved, the ferry would make seven trips from each port Sundays through Wednesdays, starting at 7 a.m. from Greenport.

There would be nine daily departures from each port Thursdays through Saturdays. The estimated 40-minute ride will cost $11 for adults one way, $20 round trip. Fares for children under 12 would be $5.50 one way, $11 round trip.

The route between the North and South forks would hug the western shoreline of Shelter Island. During bad weather, an alternative route would move along the island’s eastern side. The ferry’s captain will ultimately decide the safest course through commercial channels, Mr. Ryan said.

The vessel was built in 2003 by Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport, Conn., for New York Water Taxi, which has leased it to Peconic Bay Water Jitney.

Instead of painting over the yellow passenger ferry, Mr. Ryan said he plans to shrink-wrap it with Hampton Jitney’s colors — silver and green.

jennifer@timesreview.com

06/06/12 9:00am
06/06/2012 9:00 AM

A passenger ferry linking the North and South forks could be operational later this month if Sag Harbor Village and Suffolk County officials sign-off on the plan.

Sag Harbor Village, which agreed last month to amend its anti-ferry code to allow the water taxi to operate on a 100-day trial, is expected to vote on the Peconic Bay Water Jitney application June 12. If approved, the Suffolk County Legislature will vote on the ferry’s fares and schedule June 19.

Mattituck business owner Jim Ryan of Response Marine, who is proposing the water taxi plan jointly with Hampton Jitney president Geoffrey Lynch, said he’s confident the 53-passenger vessel will launch the same day the county signs-off on the plan.

If approved, one-way tickets for the estimated 40-minute ride for adults will cost $11 and round-trips $20. One-way fares for children under 12 would cost $5.50 and round-trips $11.

Mr. Ryan has said the ferry would depart Greenport daily at 7 a.m. with seven departures from each port Sunday through Wednesday. From Thursday through Saturday, there would be a total of nine departures from each port.

The vessel was built in 2003 by Direktors Shipyard in Bridgeport, Conn., for the New York Water Taxi, which has leased it to Peconic Bay Water Jitney.

The route between the North and South forks would hug the western shoreline of Shelter Island. During bad weather, an alternative route would move along the island’s eastern side. But the ferry’s captain will ultimately decide the safest course through commercial channels, Mr. Ryan said.

Read more about the Peconic Bay Water Jitney plan in the next issue of The Suffolk Times, on newsstands Thursday.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Mattituck business owner Jim Ryan aboard the water taxi.

 

05/08/12 6:00pm
05/08/2012 6:00 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | The Sag Harbor Village Board amended its law Tuesday to allow a Greenport-Sag Harbor water taxi to operate this summer.

The Sag Harbor Village Board approved Tuesday changes to its local laws that would allow a Greenport-Sag Harbor water taxi to operate in the village this summer.

The Village Board voted 4-1 to change its code, which bars ferries.

Trustee Timothy Culver cast the lone dissenting vote.

The Peconic Bay Water Jitney plan, proposed by Jim Ryan of Response Marine and Hampton Jitney president Geoffrey Lynch, will run for 100 days starting in July.

The Greenport Village Board is expected to vote on the plan itself Thursday at a special meeting.

Pick up Thursday’s paper for complete coverage and click below for a recap from the Sag Harbor Village Board meeting.