RED HOOK — Anchors away, Red Hook!
Brooklyn's free IKEA Ferry will run more frequent weekend trips this summer, starting Memorial Day weekend, as part of the city's expanded ferry service to help Red Hook recover from Hurricane Sandy, officials announced Wednesday.
The ferry, which now runs from IKEA's Brooklyn store to Pier 11 near Wall Street every 40 minutes on weekends, will begin running every 25 minutes and will add a new stop on Van Brunt Street near Fairway, thanks to a new boat the city is adding to the route, officials said.
The Red Hook Ferry will operate May 25 to Sept. 2, giving people access to Red Hook's commercial corridor during the warm weather, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the New York City Economic Development Corporation said in a press release.
The boats will operate from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. during summer weekends. Free transfers on the East River Ferry will help Brooklyn residents reach Midtown.
IKEA will also continue offering its regular weekday ferry service, which costs $5.
After Hurricane Sandy pummeled restaurants, shops and businesses along the commercial corridor in Red Hook, officials said they hoped that increased weekend ferry service will boost local economy and mitigate the effects of last year’s storm.
The Van Brunt Street stop, a currently unused ferry landing near Fairway, is “in the heart of Red Hook,” Bloomberg said in a press release.
“It’s a great shot in the arm for Red Hook Sandy recovery,” said Carolina Salguero, director of PortSide NewYork, a waterfront organization based on a tanker in Red Hook.
“It’s fantastic to see this happen,” she told DNAinfo New York, adding that connecting people to the waterfront is a goal of the maritime group.
Quinn said in the press release that the ferry would boost local small businesses.
“This is sure to be a major boon to the local economy and help Red Hook reverse the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy," she said.