According to a recent article in Crain’s New York Business, NY Waterway, a firm that transports riders to Manhattan from Weehawken, N.J. and other New Jersey ports, as well as one of the first ferry services to arrive on the scene after US Airways flight 1549 crashed in the Hudson in January, could go bankrupt this year.
The company is actually preparing a lawsuit against US Airways to recoup expenses it incurred during the rescue effort—NY Waterway transformed its ferry terminals at West 39th Street and Weehawken, N.J. into triage centers after the crash. After the crash landing, NY Waterway was unable to operate some of its routes for nearly 48 hours and the company also paid employees overtime and incurred other expenses that it's still assessing.
According to the article, ridership in February dropped 12 percent from year-earlier levels, to 26,400 daily commuters. Revenue has been declining since autumn and is now off by $800,000 a month. NY Waterway’s three-year equipment loan expires in September and will not be renewed by its lender, CIT Group.
The chief executive of the company, Arthur Imperatore Sr., wants a public agency, such as NJ Transit or the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, to acquire his company because, he argues, the commuter ferry business is part of the mass-transit system and should be supported by public funds. If this doesn’t happen, he will likely file for bankruptcy.