Citing declining ridership, the passenger ferry operator Seastreak has decided to cancel its New York City to Nantucket service this summer.
The route, which took seven hours to complete and cost passengers $260 for a roundtrip ticket, had been operating since 2014.
But the changing habits of New York City and New Jersey residents - specifically the growing number of people working from home on Fridays rather than the office - had cut the ridership of the NYC-Nantucket ferry by more than half, according to Seastreak vice president James Barker.
"It’s disappointing for us," Barker said of cancelling the service. "We’ve been building it over the years and a lot of people like the route. But what we're seeing in New York, and I know it's not just there, is that people aren't going into their offices on Friday. They're starting their weekends early because they can work from home. Not everyone, but enough people that there's not that peak travel time on Friday afternoon for weekend travel to Nantucket."
Last year Seastreak ran its 720-passenger vessel Courageous on the route, which is the largest capacity high speed ferry in the U.S. It made its maiden voyage to the island last May, arriving at Steamboat Wharf after dark.
While Seastreak will reevaluate whether it can bring back the NYC-Nantucket route in the future, it is doubling down on its New Bedford-Nantucket route for the summer.
On that route, Seastreak is adding trips, and planning to operate for a longer period of time during the season, Barker said. It is expected to start running in April, and will operate through October.