Bally’s Corporation is launching a free shuttle bus service starting October 1st as part of its takeover of the former Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point. The move aims to boost the company's bid to put a casino at Ferry Point, as New York works on issuing up to three downstate casino licenses.
The Bally’s Bus will accommodate 20 passengers and will be wheelchair accessible. The service will be available from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday to Friday, running a loop about every 30 minutes.
Bally’s Golf Links general manager Brian Crowell said: “Our patrons are at the heart of every decision we make. With this shuttle bus service, we’re confident of elevating their experience and demonstrating our long-term commitment to this community.”
The development comes following Bally’s talks with elected officials and business leaders who emphasized the need for transportation between the Ferry Point golf course and property and Bronx neighborhoods.
The development comes as the gaming firm plans to expand its footprint on the Ferry Point property by applying for a state license to open a casino at the site.
State Senator Nathalia Fernandez (D-Bronx), who represents a portion of the district the shuttle will service, told The New York Post: “This district needs more transit options and I am thrilled to see this shuttle connecting our neighborhoods as well as bringing more New Yorkers to the Bronx.”
She added: “The Bally’s partnership to bring about this free shuttle lends strong support to local small businesses and benefits all residents. I’m encouraged by how they made sure community concerns were heard and quickly acted on during this process.”
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson noted the Bally’s shuttle would also help boost tourism. “One of the main focuses of our administration is turning the Bronx into a haven of opportunities," Gibson said.
"The Bally’s ferry shuttle aligns perfectly with our vision of connecting our small businesses to consumers and spotlighting our cultural establishments. It’s about bringing visitors back to the Bronx and promoting economic growth.”
Earlier this month, Bally’s signed a deal with the Trump Organization to transfer control of the golf course to the casino chain. The Trump name is expected to soon be removed from the links, as per New York Daily News.
The report noted that the Trump Organization sold its contract to operate the Ferry Point links, a 20-year lease struck in 2015 that former Mayor Bill de Blasio aimed to cancel after the January 6th, 2021, Capitol siege, to Bally’s in a deal worth tens of millions of dollars.
In addition to taking over the lease to the 180-acre site, which includes the wind-swept public course, Bally’s plans to buy the 17 acres the golf course sits on, and has also agreed to buy another 17 acres nearby that it will donate to the Parks Department, a deal that would ultimately need state approval.
In January, New York State launched the bidding process for three $500 million downstate casino licenses. Two permits are expected to go to existing so-called racinos in Yonkers and southeast Queens, leaving a small army of developers angling for the final license, among them Bally's.