Hudson Co. scraps plan to bail out New York Waterway; ferry service may sink

(12/10/04) COLTS NECK - The financially troubled New York Waterway ferry service could shut down within the next few days.

Hudson Executive Tom De Gise announced Friday that county leaders have done all they could and are now forced to scrap their plans to try and bail out the nation's largest privately owned ferry service.

Since 1986, New York Waterway ferries have carried more than 65 million passengers. Company officials say they hit the rocks because of poor expansion plans, a federal probe into its billing practices and ice that snarled boats last winter.

One of the only reasonable ways New York Waterway can stay afloat is if the Port Authority or New Jersey Transit comes to its aid in the eleventh hour. But many experts believe that is very unlikely.

If the service shuts down, ferry riders will have to look to other alternatives such as taking already crowded PATH trains.

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