Famed for donning its iconic yellow and checkered livery, the New York Water Taxi service and routes will stay afloat despite the company’s selling all its boats to New York Cruise Lines.
In May last year, owners of the business that run shuttles to Ikea in Redhook, the Statue of Liberty, and the West Side claimed they would be forced to close if they lost out on Mayor de Blasio’s ferry service scheme. Californian company Hornblower Cruises won de Blasio’s favor and now New York Water Taxi has stayed true to their word.
In a statement from 2016 (published by DNA Info) the firm said: “New York Water Taxi can no longer continue to operate in a market where the city subsidizes its competitors and promotes the Staten Island Ferry as a free service to see the Statue of Liberty.” Speaking to Crain’s New York, however, de Blasio responded there was “plenty of room for everyone in this harbor,” adding, “I think they should take a positive view and a view that conforms with competition and continue to build their business.”
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. A deal struck last week means all services run by the New York Water Taxi service will continue to run (fear not IKEA lovers) and none of the 144 employees will lose their jobs. New York Cruise Lines, who runs the Circle Line sightseeing cruises, now owns 25 ships—acquiring two ships from Circle Line Downtown and the 10 New York Water Taxi vessels—all of which will be in operation. “The addition of New York Water Taxi and Circle Line Downtown fleet and staff within the New York Cruise Lines family gives us the geographic scope and capacity to expand the world-famous Circle Line sightseeing business,” said Chairman and CEO of the firm, Samuel Cooperman, to Crain’s.