Letter from The Founder
November 10, 2011
We are pleased to inform our riding public that we are approaching the completion of our 25th year on December 3, 2011. Indeed, since we started our service that day with one small vessel, we have expanded our fleet to 33 vessels. From a small number of employees, we have reached our present total of 340 full-time employees. We have experienced unpredictable and challenging conditions, including evacuations, rescues and logistical support for numerous crises in the metropolitan area. We have surely learned how to operate a ferry business. We are most proud of the people we employ who have been selected very carefully. We try as best as we can to ascertain their character and personality and their adaptability to the kind of high-end service we always aspire to provide to our customers. Our customer loyalty, I believe, is legendary and it is all based on providing service in which we take such pride. I believe our employees generally appreciate the sensitivity and the need for bringing out their best traits in creating the kind of ferry community which involves everyone – employees at all levels, passengers and even suppliers and purveyors of services.
Along with our real estate partner, Roseland Property Company, a new parking garage is being constructed across from our Ferry entrance. This will provide adequate parking spaces in a multi-level parking structure that is designed to accommodate, at a later time, a hotel with a very sizable retail component. The completion date for the garage is early 2013. The company selected to operate the new garage and even the interim parking services at our Weehawken Terminal is Central Parking, which is a large, well-managed firm. I know this has presented a small hardship to our customers, but we believe that this change was inevitable and our hope is that our customers will get used to paying separately for the Ferry and the parking services.
On October 25, Governor Chris Christie conducted a press conference here and with the Mayors of Weehawken and West New York in agreement, announced that Formula 1 had chosen our site as the location for an annual car race for 10 years starting June 2013. The parking garage is being adapted to accept grandstands and the pit stops for the race cars and we look forward to a very successful operation here in cooperation with the Formula 1 management. It is singularly one of the most important sports in the world, and with our site having been chosen as the premier location for the United States, we expect to enjoy benefits of many kinds that are brought about here by this great race.
Our bus service now incorporates a GPS system, which can locate buses on our various routes with the aid of a Smartphone and/or computer. This has been found to be highly successful by our riders. It enables the customer to locate a bus underway. The system updates itself every 15 seconds and this enables the anticipation and the location of a bus arrival at a place at which a person can then board.
Old man winter is right around the corner and we think we are in a position to upgrade our air-conditioning systems in time for the spring of 2012. We lost some of our efficacy during the hot weather in 2011. In any event, we are also taking steps during the winter to upgrade the appearance of our boats, as time and funds will permit us, to improve interiors and paintwork. We hope the year 2012 will bring about a new level of brightness and a more enjoyable appearance which we will all enjoy, I am sure. Meanwhile, I thank you for your interest and support of our great company and, as always, we hope you will tell your family, friends and neighbors about the wonderfully efficient service we provide which is, for the most part, hassle free. I know here and there we have failures, but considering that we move over 600,000 people per month, our riders would be surprised at how few complaints we receive. I hasten to point out that we have a policy of exploring the details on every single complaint. We try to identify each cause and their correction. This will always remain a high priority for us to be sure we are meeting our very own high standards of performance. Our success and our longevity can only be based on providing our service with exquisite attention to detail, underpinned by professionalism and a love for what we do in serving our customers. We are deeply grateful to the countless number of people who have been loyal passengers throughout our 25-year history. We look forward to an increasingly bright future.
ARTHUR E. IMPERATORE
Founder and President