Greenport Village Board holds public hearing to discuss ferry proposal

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Mattituck businessman Jim Ryan would like to see a water taxi like this operating between Greenport and Sag Harbor.

The Greenport Village Board is warming-up to a water taxi proposal now that its South Fork neighbor has shown an interest in the plan, floated by Mattituck business owner Jim Ryan.

During a public hearing Friday night at the Third Street firehouse, Mr. Ryan, owner of Response Marine, and Hampton Jitney president Geoffrey Lynch gave a presentation of a Greenport-Sag Harbor water taxi plan that would include bus shuttle service to and from the ferries. When the Greenport Village Board expressed parking concerns, Mr. Lynch said he’s working on a parking agreement with the Greenport School District. If approved, Hampton Jitney would provide shuttle service between the school and dock.

Mr. Ryan first proposed his water taxi idea last summer, but it never came to fruition. The biggest hurdle is getting the Sag Harbor Village Board to change its code, which bars ferries.

But Mr. Ryan may overcome that challenge now that the Sag Harbor Village Board agreed Tuesday to schedule a public hearing next month to discuss allowing a 100-day ferry pilot program to start this summer.

After Mr. Ryan and Mr. Lynch gave a presentation at the Greenport Village public hearing, David Berson, owner of the electric boat Glory, was the lone speaker during the public comment portion. Mr. Berson said he’s concerned about the potential negative impact the ferry would have on the bay and asked that an environmental study be completed before the plan moves forward.

Those who could not attend the hearing can still submit written comments on the plan, Mr. Nyce reminded after the hearing.

Read more about the Greenport-Sag Harbor water taxi proposal in the March 22nd issue of The Suffolk Times.

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