CARTERET - Officials are testing the waters of operating a ferry between Carteret and New York City.

New York Waterway on Wednesday conducted test runs between Waterfront Park and Pier 11 in Manhattan. The boats ran with employees and local officials as passengers.

Carteret Mayor Daniel J. Reiman says he'd like to eventually build a ferry terminal on a plot of empty land nearby. He has been working on a ferry proposal for a few years. 

"We have thousands of residents, not just in Carteret but in the surrounding Middlesex County area, that could use this as an alternate route of transportation," he says.

Mayor Reiman rode the ferry Wednesday to help determine the best speeds, route and timing.

The mayor says the town has a $5 million federal grant already earmarked to help pay for the terminal and service. New developers in town have already agreed to help subsidize costs as well, according to the mayor.

Permits from state agencies need to be granted before ground can be broken on the new terminal. That could take as long as two years.