The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners announced Nov. 22 the finalization of a contract with Seastreak LLC to offer services between the Belford Ferry Terminal and Manhattan, beginning Dec. 5.
Seastreak is taking over service from NY Waterway, which operated the route for 20 years until county commissioners awarded the contract to the Atlantic Highlands-based company earlier this year.
NY Waterway was denied a lawsuit seeking to block that contract at the beginning of the month. An appeal hearing is scheduled to be heard in Superior Court Nov. 28.
“The new contract between the county and Seastreak will provide significantly more options to residents traveling to and from New York City,” said Commissioner Director Thomas Arnone. “Seastreak will have vessels dedicated to the Belford Ferry Terminal, offering six morning departures from Belford to Manhattan and seven evening departures directly from Manhattan to Belford. These new routes will be in addition to those already offered by Seastreak between Highlands, Atlantic Highlands and Manhattan, with all terminals utilizing the same tickets.”
The transition from Weehawken-based NY Waterway to Seastreak was originally set to take place Jan. 1, 2023.
“Monmouth County is committed to a smooth transition between our previous partner, NY Waterway, and Seastreak to guarantee travelers will not be impacted by the change in service providers,” said Arnone.
He noted that under the new agreement – and as a way to give customers more flexibility – the Seastreak terminals in Highlands and Atlantic Highlands will be connected to the Belford Ferry Terminal via a free shuttle bus service from the operator.
“Commuters leaving Manhattan will have a total of 22 departure options per day and the flexibility to return to their vehicles from any of the terminals located in Monmouth County,” said Arnone. “As the need for ferry services has increased, the county wanted to make sure that travelers had a multitude of safe, reliable options to travel between Manhattan and Monmouth County, especially during peak travel times.”
Seastreak is also planning to expand its seasonal excursions to include departures from the Belford Terminal, which officials say will allow Monmouth County residents to take advantage of weekend ferry services starting in spring 2023.
“Our team looks forward to working with Monmouth County to serve the county’s residents and provide the Belford commuter community with the same high level of service and commitment that the company has provided to its rider for over three decades,” said Seastreak Vice President of Operations John Bevins. “We are committed to providing safe and reliable transportation in the years to come and thank our riders for their continued support.”l