Commuters entering the East River Ferry at India Street narrowly avoided injury this morning when the ramp they used to access the vessel collapsed just minutes after the passengers had boarded. No one was injured.
The incident occurred just after 9AM when the ferry, running southbound from E. 34th St. was set to take off from its stop in Greenpoint. As is normal practice, the Captain pushed against the barge and noticed something wrong with the ramp. He immediately got on the PA and instructed the passengers to clear it at once.
Engineers are expected to begin assessing the damage on Friday. Depending on the severity of the damage, the repair work could take anywhere from a week to several weeks.
The landing equipment along the pier is monitored both weekly and monthly by NY Waterway, parent company of East River Ferry.
East River Ferry issued an advisory shortly after the incident notifying commuters that the service would be suspended at least through this weekend. Updated information will be made available on its facebook and twitter pages.
Councilmember Steve Levin called for a thorough investigation into the ramp’s collapse.
“While I am thankful that no one was harmed during the ramp collapse, it is deeply troubling that lives were put at risk this morning,” Levin said. “This incident must be fully investigated and ferry service cannot resume until we have full knowledge of what caused the ramp to collapse and until this important safety issue is solved.”
State Senator Daniel Squadron, also called for NY Waterway and the City to provide alternative means of transportation for Greenpoint’s “already underserved” community until the India Street pier is reopened.
“Greenpoint is already drastically underserved when it comes to public transit, and a shutdown of ferry service only exacerbates the problem,” said Squadron. “A shuttle bus to the nearest ferry stop would go a long way for the community.”