Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday defended his foundering new ferry service, claiming it’s been an “obvious and vivid success” — despite earlier announcing a City Hall probe into the sidelining of six out of 16 boats for repairs.
“We know there’s been some problems with some individual boats,” de Blasio said following an unrelated news conference.
“We have some specific issues that we’ve made very clear to Hornblower, the contractor, that we expect to see better, but writ large, this system obviously has been working very well.”
De Blasio sidestepped a question about the cause of leaks that City Hall on Monday acknowledged had been found in two of NYC Ferry boats, and which sources have told The Post were being repaired in three others and had been previously fixed in at least two others.
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said the six boats currently out of service had “some issues on the keel, not serious ones.”
Glen described the problems as “some small erosion…under the keel, and some issues with the electric systems that are now being repaired.”
“There’s no life, safety, health issues here at all,” she insisted.
De Blasio also defended hiring the San Francisco-based cruise company Hornblower to run NYC Ferry, which began operations in May and is being subsidized with $325 million in taxpayer funds.
“The political thing to do would not have been to choose the company from out of town,” he said.
“The one we got, that won the day, was a better proposal.”
The mayor did not discuss the status of a investigation of the ferry problems announced Tuesday by his press secretary, Eric Phillips, who said: “We’re sending in our own independent experts and inspectors to get to the bottom of this.”