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Ikea Plans for Shuttle Buses as NY Water Taxi Threatens to Shut Down

 New York Water Taxi's Ikea Express runs from Red Hook to Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan.
New York Water Taxi's Ikea Express runs from Red Hook to Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan.
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Flickr/ed whitaker

RED HOOK — New York Water Taxi's possible shut down will take away daily ferry service connecting Lower Manhattan to Red Hook's Ikea, prompting the furniture megastore to consider transportation alternatives, a company representative said.

Ikea is in the early stages of planning transportation options, such as additional shuttle buses, for its customers after New York Water Taxi threatened to cease all operations in October 2016.

Last week, the water transportation company announced that it would close if the city selects another operator to run its new Citywide Ferry System.

The Economic Development Corporation has not officially announced an operator.

New York Water Taxi's Ikea Express currently runs from Pier 11 in Manhattan's Financial District to a landing outside Ikea's Red Hook store.

The ferry is free on weekends and costs at $5 per person from Monday to Friday. The tickets can also be used as store credit for purchases of more than $10 at Ikea, according to New York Water Taxi's website. 

If New York Water Taxi were to shut down, Ikea would run shuttle buses between the 1 Beard St. store and the new ferry dock in Red Hook, marketing manager Lorna Montalvo said. 

Citywide ferry service is expected to launch in June 2017, but the Economic Development Corporation has not yet announced the location of Red Hook's ferry dock. The list of possible includes the Atlantic Basin and Eric Basin near Ikea.

"We're still in the beginning stages of this," Montalvo said. 

For long-term planning, Ikea would likely look for a new ferry operator to bring customers to the nearest dock. 

"We wouldn't want to make our customers have to travel that extra bit," she said.