First NY Ferry Routes to Launch May 1

NEW YORK –– NY Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Citywide Ferry Service, now officially named “NYC Ferry,” will be launching May 1st with two routes: the brand new Rockaway Route and the existing East River Route, both of which will cost just $2.75 a ride and include free transfers to other ferry routes. This puts NYC Ferry a full month ahead of schedule, with the system originally forecast to launch in June.

Mayor de Blasio also announced that the South Brooklyn Route, with stops in Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Red Hook and Brooklyn Bridge Park will begin service starting on June 1st. The Astoria Route will launch in August, with exact date still being determined, and the Lower East Side and Soundview Routes will be launching in 2018.

“Rockaway residents have some of the longest commute times in the city. We promised we’d bring them our new NYC Ferry service first, and today we’re delivering on that promise. Best of all, our first NYC Ferry will set sail May 1 – a full month ahead of schedule,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The de Blasio administration also released a video introducing the new branding and logo for NYC Ferry. The logo and brand identity were developed by Inamoto & Co., a digital and branding agency based in Gowanus, Brooklyn. You can view the video at ferry.nyc.

With 20 vessels operating at 22 landings across New York City, NYC Ferry will carry an estimated 4.6 million trips per year across six routes – providing a new and easily accessible transit option for traditionally underserved communities and where jobs and housing are growing rapidly. Several of those landings, including the Rockaways, are nearly complete. The first of the new vessels arrived in New York Harbor this week, with more boats scheduled to depart shipyards in Louisiana and Alabama in the coming weeks.

Construction is currently underway on a homeport at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 56,000-square-foot maintenance and storage facility that will include berthing space for 25 boats, supplies and parts, and utilities, including a 40,000-gallon diesel fueling system. It will provide routine maintenance including exterior and interior cleaning, restocking of food and beverage items, fueling and basic repairs. It will be fully outfitted by early 2018, enabling passenger service to an additional stop on the East River route between South Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

NYC Ferry is hiring for jobs that include captains and deckhands. Jobseekers can apply through the City Department of Small Business Services’ WorkForce1 Centers, or at ferry.nyc, or through the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Employment Center. NYC Ferry will ultimately provide 200 jobs, all of which will pay the City’s Living Wage or higher and provide comprehensive benefits.

Details on NYC Ferry Service

Routes:

  • Rockaway, South Brooklyn and Astoria routes are scheduled to launch in 2017.
  • Rockaway route will connect to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Wall Street.
  • South Brooklyn route will connect Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 and Pier 6, and Wall Street, with an optional link to Governors Island.
  • Astoria route will connect to Astoria, Roosevelt Island (Cornell Tech), Long Island City, East 34th Street and Wall Street.
  • Soundview and Lower East Side routes to launch in 2018.
  • Routes from Coney Island and Stapleton on Staten Island are in the planning stages for future expansion.
  • Combined routes will cover over 60 miles of waterway.

Commuting Times:

  • Rockaway to Wall Street (1 stop): Approximately 1 hour
  • Astoria to E 34th Street (2 stops): Approximately 22 minutes
  • Astoria to Wall Street (3 stops): Approximately 38 minutes
  • Soundview to Wall Street (2 stops): Approximately 43 minutes
  • Bay Ridge to Wall Street (4 stops): Approximately 48 minutes

Pricing:

  • Cost per ride will equal that of a single subway ride.
  • Over 4,000 daily East River Ferry customers will see fares reduced from $4 to the cost of a single subway ride.
  • Fare will allow for free transfers to any other ferry route within the system, including the East River Ferry.
  • Both paper and smartphone ticketing will be available, with payments accepted via cash, credit, or debit card. Discounts will be available for seniors, children and New Yorkers with disabilities.
  • Passengers will be allowed to bring bicycles on board for a $1 fee.

The Boats:

  • Each boat will be able to carry 150 passengers.
  • All boats will be equipped with WiFi.
  • Boats will be fully accessible to New Yorkers with disabilities, and will comply with the requirements of both the Americans with Disabilities Act and New York City Local Law 68 of 2005.
  • New boats will be equipped with the most modern engine design available to reduce emissions and noise, as well as an efficient hull design that will limit wakes and maximize fuel economy.

City Support:

  • The city is investing $55 million in infrastructure upgrades, including building 10 new ferry landings.
  • The city is providing $30 million in operating support per year, over a period of six years. Based on a projection of 4.6 million annual trips, the per-trip subsidy for NYC Ferry will be $6.60, lower than the nearly $8 per trip subsidy on the Long Island Railroad or the nearly $15 per trip subsidy for express buses. The city is providing $10 million for additional startup costs, such as vessel upgrades and ticketing machines.
  • City negotiated an option to acquire ferry vessels, allowing for greater operational flexibility and providing significant savings to taxpayers over the life of the service (roughly up to $5 million per year).
  • City will receive a portion of fare-box revenue if ridership exceeds 5.6 million passengers.