Free Riders

The IKEA Shuttle
Photo: the real janelle

It seems that many Brooklynites already prefer the reasonable price and comfort of the IKEA bus and water taxi to their local MTA equivalents.

Countless commuters are taking advantage of Ikea’s free bus and ferry – without ever setting foot inside the giant Swedish furniture store that opened last month in the waterfront neighborhood.

The posh, coach-style shuttle buses, equipped with footrests, reading lights and music, are quickly becoming popular with travelers tired of shelling out $2 for overcrowded – and, by comparison, uncomfortable – city buses.

Brooklyn News found last week that only eight of 19 passengers on the first shuttle ride entered Ikea – and two of them were employees.

“I’d say before one o’clock, about half the riders from Smith and Ninth Sts. don’t even go into Ikea,” said a bus driver, who added many riders are going to a local methodone clinic for treatment.

Ikea had kind words for those using the free transportation. “We are thrilled that we are providing free transit options for the people of New York to come to Ikea and to come to Red Hook,” said Ikea spokesman Joseph Roth. “We support mass transit, and if people are using our services and not going to Ikea, that’s fine with us as well.” [Daily News]