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Plans for revived Peconic Jitney ferry service on hold until at least summer 2021

The Peconic Jitney, a ferry service by Hampton Jitney operating between Greenport and Sag Harbor, will not make its return this summer, a company official said last Friday.

Hampton Jitney manager Jim Ryan sent an email to Greenport Village Board officials stating that the company would not reestablish the ferry service similar to the service offered in summer 2012 because it could not find an appropriate vessel for transportation.

“…The Peconic Jitney does not intend to seek or provide or operate passenger ferry services during the 2020 season, due to the fact that an appropriate vessel could not be sourced that would adequately reflect the charm and character of our East End communities or be able [to] provide the service objectives we look to achieve,” Mr. Ryan wrote March 5.

The earliest the service could begin is summer 2021, Mr. Ryan said. He said he looks forward to partnering with Greenport Village officials and “neighboring township officials” to collectively design and build a 49-passenger ferry for public transportation. 

Despite the delay, Mr. Ryan is expected to present a proposal about the service at a March 19 Greenport Village work session. 

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. 

Mr. Ryan said in a previous interview that the service is environmentally friendly. Approximately 18,590 passengers opted to take the ferry, he said, saving on carbon emissions and reducing road congestion. 

During its run, the company leased space at Pierson High School in Sag Harbor and Greenport High School and provided shuttle bus service to and from the schools to the Long Wharf and Mitchell Park Marina. 

At a previous work session, Greenport Mayor George Hubbard Jr. suggested the company unload and picks up passengers at the railroad dock near Wiggins Street, close to the North Ferry location, instead of in the marina near Mitchell Park, which was followed in 2012, since that pier is busier. 

In response, Mr. Ryan said he would have considered docking the ferries at the railroad dock but the size of the boat would be smaller than what was created in the past and is designed for Mitchell Park.

Originally, Peconic Jitney was interested in using Claudio’s dock as a drop-off location for passengers, but that is no longer a viable option.

Mr. Ryan said if the service had returned this summer, it would have likely cost $27 for a round-trip ticket or $16 for one-way passage. The ferry would have made 12 round trips Sunday through Thursday, and 16 on Fridays and Saturdays.