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NYC Ferry’s Hornblower Faces Cash Crunch After a Lost Summer

  • Pandemic halts tourist trade, and fewer commuters head to work
  • Ridership decreased 77% during the warmer months of the year
A ferry travels along the East River, New York, on Sept. 4.

A ferry travels along the East River, New York, on Sept. 4.

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
Updated on

The operator of the NYC Ferry system for commuters and tourists could find itself running out of time and money after the coronavirus disrupted its business during the warmest months of the year.

Some of Hornblower Group’s boats had to pause operations earlier this year, and while its commuter lines along the East River are running, there are fewer passengers and tourist routes remain mostly dormant. What’s more, Hornblower’s exclusive contract for Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tours comes up for auction in March.