The irony of New York City getting new helicopter travel options is that the traffic these rides once sought to avoid has thinned out significantly. As a result of both Covid-19 and a general exodus from the city that is taking place as a result of the wonderful job Mayor Bill de Blasio is doing, the once super-crowded streets of Manhattan have been downgraded to simply just crowded.
Regardless, those with the means in NYC may be happy to hear there is a new 12 minute helicopter ride option for those who want to travel between Westchester County Airport and Manhattan. The ride, put into service by Blade Urban Air Mobility, can carry five and will cost $175, according to Bloomberg.
Rob Wiesenthal, the company’s CEO, said: “We believe people will be willing to pay to go once a week by Blade, because we’re saving so much friction. These people are working remotely four days a week, and it can feel comfortable to do this once a week.”
The program comes after the success of a pilot program in and out of the Hamptons last year. The chopper’s helipad will be in Ross’s terminal in Westchester.
Blade is looking to introduce even more helipads that it calls “vertiports” alongside of electric choppers within four years. The expansion, especially in NYC, could come as more people start meandering back to the office daily for work.
Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, concluded: “The helicopter and vertical technology are going to surge, because of the savings in time. It’s one of the best investments, because you can be twice as productive when you’re in your Manhattan high rise office: You can do far more in face to face, which makes the helicopter worth it.”
He concluded: “There’s a new hierarchy of how you commute. The helicopter is superseding the limousine and the SUV for hedge-fund executives and high-tech leaders.”