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Return proposed for ferry between Greenport and Sag Harbor

A ferry service operating between Sag Harbor and Greenport may return this summer, making its way around the Island heading for the South Fork.

In June 2012, Hampton Jitney launched an 83-day pilot program for Peconic Jitney, a 53-passenger ferry service that linked the villages of Sag Harbor and Greenport. At that time, ferry service cost $20 for a round trip, or $12 one way. 

Greenport Village administrator Paul Pallas said Thursday at a Greenport work session that the re-established service, pitched to him by Hampton Jitney manager Jim Ryan earlier this month, would operate similarly to how it operated in the past. He told the board he was awaiting their approval to request a formal business plan and proposal with ferry operation and costs.

Greenport trustees expressed interest in the service, but are skeptical about its impact on the village’s parking spaces and marina. Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said he was disappointed that the company pitched the project to the Sag Harbor Board of Trustees in December 2019, but Greenport trustees are only hearing about it this month.

“They’ve been before their board for two months,” Mr. Hubbard said, “and now we’re hearing about it after the fact.”

In 2012, Mr. Hubbard said, the company unloaded and picked up passengers in the marina near Mitchell Park. But that pier is busier than it was eight years ago, the mayor said.

“Taking a 125-passenger ferry in there six to eight times a day could be problematic with the amount of boats and traffic in there, especially on weekends,” Mr. Hubbard said. 

The mayor suggested the company dock its ferries at the railroad dock near Wiggins Street, close to the North Ferry location. Mr. Hubbard said passengers would be asked to use the 48-hour parking lot. 

Originally, Mr. Pallas said, the company was interested in using Claudio’s dock as a drop-off location for passengers, but that is no longer a viable option.

In 2012, the company leased the parking lot at Greenport High School for public parking. But board trustee Mary Bess Phillips said that lot was rarely used, and riders parked downtown anyway.

Trustee Peter Clarke recalled more visitors stopped at Greenport and then traveled to Sag Harbor, producing fewer parking issues in Greenport than in Sag Harbor.

Mr. Ryan told 27east.com it would likely cost $27 for a round-trip ticket or $16 for one-way passage if it were re-established this summer. The ferry would make 12 round trips Sunday through Thursday, and 16 on Fridays and Saturdays.

After hearing the board’s unanimous interest, Mr. Pallas said he will formally request a business plan and proposal.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story stated that the 2012 ferry boat held 125 passengers. It has been updated with the correct information.