Tribeca's Pier 25 to Become a Water Taxi Landing for Citi Workers

Citi says it will be using this model of a New York Water Taxi to shuttle employees and business guests between Jersey City and Pier 25 in Tribeca. Photo: Citi

Oct. 04, 2018

There’s Citigroup, Citibank, Citi Bike and Citi Field. Now coming soon to Tribeca’s Pier 25: Citi Dock.

That may not be its official name, but the financial giant is planning for its own boat landing at the pier, across West Street from its global headquarters at 388 Greenwich St. An agreement is being worked out between Citi and the Hudson River Park Trust that will allow Citi to ferry its workers and business guests between its offices in Jersey City and the pier. The service could begin as early as January.

“A water taxi service from…Jersey City across to Pier 25 offers the most direct method and time efficient method to shuttle our employees from one side of the river to the other,” said Gerard O’Reilly, who oversees the company’s North American offices and operations centers.

O’Reilly, speaking to Community Board 1’s Waterfront Committee recently, said the ferry service would run about every 30 minutes on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., allowing Citi to discontinue its bus service through the Holland Tunnel and eliminate 15,000 bus trips a year. The 53-foot-long boats, the smallest in the fleet of vessels operated by New York Water Taxi, would carry an average of 15 people per trip and would not be intended as a commuter ferry, O’Reilly said.

The landing, consisting of a 60-foot gangway and 30-foot dock moored to pilings, would be located on the corner of the south end of the pier where a gate is already installed. The docking site was approved long ago by the Army Corps of Engineers and the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, said Madelyn Wils, president of the Hudson River Park Trust.

“This part of the park is familiar with motorized boating,” Wils said. “This is something that occurs all the time. It is a recreational boating area.”

The ferry service would be for the exclusive use of Citi, which is paying for the dock. But other boats could land there if they operated under similar restrictions. The Trust is requiring the boats to use new “least polluting” engines and be limited by size and “no wake” speeds. Restrictions on noise, from revving engines and horn blowing, had yet to be finalized.

The committee raised concerns about pollution, noise and impact to the nearby playground. “Every half hour you’re getting this boat coming up and it seems like a lot of stuff in the air,” said committee co-chair Alice Blank. “I hope that whatever you’re doing indicates there is no health problem.”

Wils said the impact of the boats will be closely monitored, but tried to assure the committee that this dock would be nothing like the terminal in Battery Park City that over the years has drawn many complaints from residents.

“We care about what’s in the park,” she said. “So this is not a ferry terminal, this is a water taxi dock. It’s very different.”