Big changes for Monmouth ferry service — What you need to know
Baring a legal setback, NY Waterway is out and rival Seastreak is in to provide ferry service from Monmouth County to New York.
Here is what you need to know about the changes.
When does it begin?
Seastreak is scheduled to begin service Dec. 5 at Middletown's Belford Terminal traveling to New York City.
For most commuters, not much. Seastreak says it will offer 22 daily trips between Belford Terminal and the east and west sides of Manhattan.
Generally, the same routes and schedules currently run by NY Waterway from Belford to the West Side.
Seastreak ferries will also continue existing routes to the East Side from Atlantic Highlands and Highlands.
A free shuttle service will begin Dec. 5 between Atlantic Highlands and Highlands and the Belford Terminal.
The new schedule does not include a stop in Jersey City that was available from NY Waterway. If that is your destination, you will need to find an alternative.
The full schedule and fares can be found here.
An initial look at the fares listed on the Seastreak website shows most commuters should save a few bucks.
Prices do vary, but a discounted one-way ticket for Belford-only passengers will cost $24. A round-trip ticket is $48. That is a savings of $1-$4 over current rates.
A 40-trip ticket book is listed on the Seastreak website as $720.
Why the change?
County officials had been unhappy with service options being offered by NY Waterway for years. They say the new contract with Seastreak will offer better options.
Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas Arnone said in a statement: "Seastreak will provide significantly more options to residents traveling to and from New York City."
NY Waterway has provided service from Monmouth for more than 20 years. They did offer a lower bid than Seastreak to continue the contract, but their bid was rejected when county officials claimed they failed to secure a performance bond to ensure service would continue in the event of financial trouble.
A judge ruled in favor of the county in a lawsuit brought by NY Waterway. The company is appealing that decision.