Good news, denizens of the House of Blankfein: You’ll no longer need to endure the indignity of the PATH train or a dingy New York Waterway ferry to get from HQ on West Street to the House That Jon Corzine Built on the opposite side of the river.
It is a mystery that has drifted around New York Harbor for two years: Why did one of the world’s biggest investment banks buy two custom-made ferry boats and leave them bobbing, unused, on the Hudson River?
On Tuesday, the idleness ended when the boats — named York and Jersey — suddenly slipped into service as commuter ferries, carrying passengers, bank employees or not, between Lower Manhattan and Jersey City. The same passengers who paid $6 each way to ride a New York Waterway workhorse last week have traded up to smoother, quieter boats with plush seating, courtesy of the bank, Goldman Sachs.
The bad news is, you’ll have to share the $2.5 million floating pleasure palaces with the masses.
The 72-foot-long catamarans may have been built to Wall Street standards, but because they land at a public pier near the World Financial Center, Goldman could not exclude the public — just as if Citigroup had bought a fancy bus and asked the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to run it from the bank’s headquarters on Park Avenue to its trading base in TriBeCa.