FUELING CONTROVERSY: NJ Transit Reports Point to Union Dry Dock as Best Option for New York Waterway Ferry Depot
(ABOVE: NY Waterway ferry at Union Dry Dock, as seen from Maxwell Park)
As Hoboken signals it will move ahead on eminent domain proceedings should New York Waterway refuse to sell Union Dry Dock to the City, NJ Transit has released reports that point out prohibitive flaws for other locations.
Looking at the Hoboken South Location, NJ Transit cites homeland security/safety issues, as well as the overall infrastructural decay around NJ Transit’s Hoboken Terminal that would require an “unknown” amount of repair.
A second report looking at the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne cites inefficiencies and high costs, as well as the the fact that NY Waterway already owns Union Dry Dock, having purchased it in November of 2017.
“These studies ignore politics and tell the truth, despite the lies and abuse our opponents have been spouting. They confirm what we have said for 10 years: Union Dry Dock is the only suitable location for a ferry repair and maintenance facility,” NY Waterway President and Founder Arthur Imperatore said in a statement, according to Hudson County View.
A judge recently tossed NY Waterway’s lawsuit over a stop work order issued by the City of Hoboken. A report commissioned by the City of Hoboken last year concluded that the “Hoboken South” location, located at the Lackawanna Terminal, was the “preferred alternative,” ranking higher than Bayonne Peninsula, Binghamton Ferry Site (Edgewater), Union Dry Dock and the existing location at Port Imperial—in that order. Criteria for these conclusions were Capacity, Zoning/Use Compatibility, Development Timing, Environmental Constraints, Future Expansion and Cost.
These reports are seemingly at odds, signifying a significant road ahead in terms of settling the issue of Union Dry Dock once and for all.
“It’s disappointing that New Jersey Transit is producing reports to benefit NY Waterway’s corporate greed at the behest of their multi-millionaire CEO,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “Nonetheless, NJ Transit’s conclusion that Bayonne could support a ferry maintenance facility supports what we’ve said all along – that there are viable alternate locations other than Union Dry Dock, which we urge NY Waterway to consider. Since we agree that there are other viable locations NY Waterway could use, the only reason for NJ Transit to intervene would be to use taxpayer money to pad the profits of a private company that makes millions off of our commuters.”
Other Hudson County Elected Officials—including Senator Brian Stack, Senator Nick Sacco, County Executive Tom DeGise, and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop—wrote a letter to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy supporting Hoboken Terminal as a more suitable location than Union Dry Dock.
Furthermore, a group of 15 environmental organizations recently signed a letter asking Governor Murphy to take into account a recently law (S-1074) strengthening public access to beaches in his decisions on Union Dry Dock.
“We the undersigned, on behalf of the citizens and elected officials of Hudson County, urge you to show the people of NJ that not only did you sign the S-1074 legislation you are enforcing it and putting it into action in protecting Hoboken Cove allowing the City of Hoboken to finalize a 30 year vision of giving the waterfront back to the people,” reads the letter, penned by Fund For A Better Waterfront.