Don’t throw the ferry out with the math-water! It’s true the numbers don’t add up when it comes to the cost of running NYC Ferry, as per a new audit from city Comptroller Brad Lander, but that’s no surprise. This was a Bill de Blasio joint. Of course the true costs were hidden while false egalitarianism was the message. But that doesn’t mean the service should be ended altogether.

According to Lander, the city’s Economic Development Corp., which runs the system, incurred $758 million in ferry-related expenditures from July 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2021 but only reported $534 million as such.

The audit also found the cost to the taxpayer of each ferry ride is $12.88, while the rider pays $2.75. The subsidy was supposed to be only $6.60 a ride when the service was sold to the public — by a de Blasio administration that was swimming in revenue and loved nothing more than finding new ways to spend it — and the EDC claimed it was just $8.59 last year. By comparison, the subsidy for a subway ride was $1.05 (as reported by Curbed in 2019); for a bus it was $4.92.

The ferries are nothing like the subways and buses. They serve, on the whole, a wealthier clientele and are used more often for weekend trips, not commuting. The fare should be doubled or tripled.

NYC Ferry runs up and down the East River from Throgs Neck in the Bronx to Sunset Park and then on to Rockaway, with numerous stops along the way. It’s a worthwhile project, but it has to be better paid for.

While we’re at it, subway and bus fares should go to $3. That would both bring the MTA more revenue and return us to the Pizza Principle, which shows that since the early ’60s at least, the price of a slice and of a subway ride have been nearly the same in NYC. Pizza’s gone up, so the subway should too. We shouldn’t be violating basic economic rules or risking bad karma or something here.