At a time when waterborne transportation in the New York Harbor focused on trans-Hudson commuters and sightseeing excursions, Tom and his partner renowned “green” real estate developer Douglas Durst crafted a different vision: New York Water Taxi (NYWT), New York City’s first intra-city waterborne system connecting parks, neighborhoods, and cultural attractions along the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens waterfronts.
The founders designed and built 10 high-speed, aluminum catamarans and branded them bright yellow with black and white checks. The distinctive brand became a New York icon, and today the company provides sightseeing, commuter, and charter services carrying over 1.5 million passengers each year. NYWT’s products range from its signature hop-on, hop-off service connecting numerous City waterfront attractions, to contract services for retailers such as IKEA and transport for large-scale events on Governors and Randall’s Islands.
NYWT boats were the first in the nation to be designed with low-wake hulls, low-emission engines and generators, and hospital-grade noise reducing mufflers; all of which minimize the impact on the marine and human environment. In addition, NYWT built the world’s first small-vessel fleet that’s accessible to the disabled.
While president & CEO of NYWT, Tom served as chair of the Harbor Safety, Navigation and Operations Committee, Passenger Vessel Sub-Committee. He is an Honorary Board member of InterFerry, having served as its president, and having hosted the association’s 35th annual conference in Brooklyn.