New Ferry Service To Launch Ahead of Schedule
Locals and visitors to New York City will soon be able to enjoy new transportation option on the water. When the service is in full operation in 2018, NYC Ferries will offer a total of six routes, stopping at 21 NYC landings, covering over 60-miles, and making over 4.5-million passenger trips every year.
The East River Ferry, which has been operating since June 2011 was taken over by Hornblower, the operator of the future ferries, in December 2016. Originally called the Citywide Ferry, the name is now due to change with the addition of the new routes.
The Rockaway route will be the first of the new routes to enter into operation in just a couple of weeks, at 5 am on May 1st- a whole month ahead of schedule. The maiden voyage will leave from the recently constructed dock on Beach 108th Street in Rockaway Beach in Queens. Two free shuttle buses will service the new dock covering four miles to the east and the west, with six stops, and a 25-minute travel time, to help people connect with the service. Forty-three minutes later the new ferry will dock at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) in Sunset Park and then continue on to Wall Street, Pier 11, arriving here just 16-minutes later. This stop provides easy access to Lower Manhattan and excellent public transport connections.
The new boat for the Rockaway route, which has yet to be named, arrived in New Jersey on April 2nd and is slightly different from the rest of the fleet of thirteen vessels, as this boat will be traversing stretches of water which can sometimes be choppy. All of the new ferries are environmentally friendly with low emission engines, state-of-the-art technology which produces very little wake, and a reduced horn sound for peaceful traveling. Food and drinks are available onboard, and the 150 passengers can enjoy heated decks, charging stations, and free WIFI throughout the ship.
The new waiting and boarding areas will be located on barges measuring 90 x 35-feet and are covered to protect passengers from inclement weather. Tickets will cost just $2.75 for a single journey, a reduction on the current fares on the already operational East River Ferry. Tickets can be purchased from automated machines at the landing sites in cash or with cards, and by phone. Monthly passes are available and you can even bring your bike along. Unfortunately, there are no free transfers to MTA bus or subway services.
The South Brooklyn route will also be entering into operation this summer. This route will start out from Bay Ridge, make four stops along the Brooklyn coast heading northwards to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, where it will cross over to end its 43-minute journey at the Wall Street Pier 11. From there it will operate an optional link over to Governors Island.
The Astoria line is also due to start running this summer and will join the western Queens communities of Astoria and Long Island City, to Roosevelt Island. The service will stop at East 34th Street and end at the Wall Street Pier 11, 43-minutes later.
The last two routes linking Soundview in the Bronx with the Upper East Side and lower Manhattan with a 43-minute journey, and the Lower East Side service which will link midtown and the financial district to Long Island City, in a 32-minute journey, will complete this ambitious aquatic project.