Williamsburg, NY - Furious Hasidic parents claim the 25-child limit on the new East River ferries is unfair—because it can’t accommodate their extra-large broods.
The strictly enforced cap on kids has even forced some oversized families to cancel plans at the last minute, furious critics charge.
“It’s utter nonsense. Twenty-five children is five families,” said Isaac Abraham, a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, resident.
“They should’ve sat down with this community to be prepared for what they would face,” he added. “This is a community with a lot of kids.”
Scores of frustrated mothers are often found at Schaefer Landing near the Williamsburg Bridge—a predominantly Hasidic neighborhood—unable to board with their gaggle.
Sometimes, children are forbidden from boarding even when the ferry is only half-full—because the limit on kiddies has already been reached.
The debacle has led to bitter arguments between parents turned away at the docks and staffers with NY Waterway, the company contracted to operate the vessels.
“They walked away with the perception that we Jews have too many kids—and those people didn’t like it,” said Abraham.
That’s a charge NY Waterway strongly denied—and pointed to the very men who own the company.
“The owners of NY Waterway’s East River Ferry are themselves Jewish and sensitive to the needs of every community they serve,” the operators said in a statement. Under Coast Guard rules, the operator is required to provide enough kiddie life vests for 10 percent of the total capacity.
In this case, that’s 15 life vests.
Read more at NY Post.
This is a safety issue. The ferries are absolutely right to limit the number of children who are allowed to board. This may be inconvenient, but all it takes is one tragedy.