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NYC Ferry Riders Left Outraged By Overcrowded Ships, Mass Confusion At Terminals

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Complaints of severe overcrowding and service delays are pouring in, not in the subway, but on New York City ferries.

Passengers say the ferries are so full, it's a battle to get on board.

"I mean it was a disaster," ferry passenger Valerie Ramkhelawan.

"We actually had to fight our way to the front," fellow rider Roopakshi Mathur added.

It's not quite summer yet but ferry riders were fired up Tuesday, frustrated at the overcrowding and what seemed to be too few ferries along the East River.

(Credit: CBS2)

"We waited for an hour and the lines were chaotic and no one was letting us through and no one knows which ferry is going where and it was not a pleasant experience," Kelly Israni detailed.

NYC Ferry alerted riders to the problem sending out a tweet saying, "due to larger than usual passenger volume, delays or disruptions may occur on all routes."

The NYC Ferry app also noted service alerts on all routes - attributed to "passenger volume."

At East 34th Street - where lines of people swarmed the pier - riders who had just come from Hunters Point in Long Island City said crowds of people there were confused as to where they were going and only made things worse.

"So they were blocking the whole way to get to the ferry and the ferry does not know what's going on so they're not waiting for anybody so everyone who's waiting for 34th Street is just missing the boats," Mathur added.

(Credit: CBS2)

Many riders felt the system, overseen by the city's Economic Development Corporation, missed the boat by not having adequate service.

A spokesperson explained that the summer schedule is still a few weeks away.

"Until Memorial Day weekend we're operating on a spring schedule which means boats run every 30 to 60 minutes depending on the routes, today just happened to be a hotter day than normal and so we're seeing an increase level in ridership," Stephanie Baez argued.

The popularity of the system is clearly evident after Tuesday's overcrowding, but for now it seems to be not enough of a good thing.

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