The newest addition to the NY Waterway fleet of passenger ferries – the Betsy Ross – officially began service Sept. 1, signaling new jobs for Seafarers.
It marks the expansion of what the company described as “the most reliable, most comfortable, fastest commuter service available to Monmouth and Ocean County (New Jersey) riders.” The Betsy Ross sails between the Belford/Middletown Ferry Terminal and Manhattan, as does its sister ship, the Molly Pitcher. Both of those boats are billed as luxury commuter ferries.
“This newest addition reflects not only continued growth but also a bright future at NY Waterway,” said SIU Vice President Atlantic Coast Joseph Soresi. “SIU members have done outstanding work for the company for the last 30 years, and there is no doubt that their reliability has helped fuel that growth.”
“We want to show our commitment to our loyal Monmouth and Ocean County customers, and to our partners in government, by providing the highest quality commuting experience available in the Metropolitan Area,” said NY Waterway President and Founder Arthur E. Imperatore. “These two great ladies, the Betsy Ross and the Molly Pitcher, are a demonstration that our commitment remains stronger than ever.”
The Betsy Ross and the Molly Pitcher depart Belford/ Middletown weekdays from 5:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., with return trips leaving Manhattan between 1:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. For the complete Belford/Middletown schedule, visit nywaterway.com.
The first commuter ferries built in the Garden State in years, the Betsy Ross and the Molly Pitcher were constructed at Yank Marine in Tuckahoe and financed by NY Waterway.
“Monmouth and Ocean County commuters are fortunate to now have two world-class boats calling the Belford Ferry Terminal their home port,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso. “With Monmouth County’s connection to Revolutionary history, it’s wonderful to have each vessel named in honor of America’s early female patriots.”
“It’s great news that NY Waterway is further enhancing commuter services at the Belford/Middletown Ferry Terminal. The Betsy Ross will be a welcome sight on the bay as she serves a growing ridership,” said Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger, Ph.D. “We’re lucky to have such an exceptional community partner navigating our local waters.”
Like its twin ferry, the Molly Pitcher, the 400-passenger Betsy Ross is 109 feet long and 32 feet wide and draws just six feet, reducing the need for dredging. Amenities include comfortable seating with arm rests; tiled restrooms on both the lower and upper deck; a marble bar, serving coffee in the morning and cocktails on the way home; flat-screen TVs throughout; all-LED lighting; heated hand rails, outside decks and stairways; and WiFi.
The Betsy Ross was designed by Michael LeMole of LeMole Associates in Tuckahoe, with luxurious interiors designed by Jeanine Bequette of Directions in Design. It is powered by twin EPA “Tier 3” compliant engines, the cleanestburning marine diesel engines currently available in America and exceeding all federal and state air quality standards.
The Betsy Ross is U.S. Coast Guardlicensed for 400 passengers, with seating for 350 passengers in fully climate-controlled cabins. There is outside open deck space on both the lower and upper deck. The vessel has a service speed of 28 knots, about 33 mph, making it among the fastest boats operating in New York-area waters.
The Belford/Middletown Ferry Terminal, owned by Monmouth County and operated by NY Waterway, is a visually appealing building with all customer amenities and free parking for 1,000 cars. A free van circulates through the parking lot to pick up passengers and bring them to the terminal. Ferries operate Monday-Friday, carrying more than 2,000 passengers per day, with stops at Wall Street’s Pier 11 on the East River, the World Financial Center on the Hudson River, Paulus Hook in Jersey City and Manhattan’s West 39th Street.
NY Waterway, founded in 1986, operates the largest privately owned commuter ferry service in the U.S., carrying 30,000 passenger trips per day – 8 million trips per year – on 36 boats serving 21 routes between New Jersey and Manhattan, and between Rockland and Westchester counties, and between Orange and Dutchess counties.
The company and its SIU crews were in the news last month for additional reasons, starting with the immediately popular movie “Captain Sully.” Starring Tom Hanks, the film depicts the event known as the Miracle on the Hudson. On that occasion in 2009, NY Waterway crews rescued the airplane pilot and crew and most of the passengers from the US Airways plane that landed in the river. (The remaining dozen passengers were secured by other rescuers.)
Additionally, remembrances of the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11 included credit to the NY Waterway boats which evacuated more than 163,000 people from Manhattan.
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