NYC Ferry routes expand to Bronx, LES

The NYC Ferry system is launching two new routes in August, bringing service to the South Bronx and Manhattan's East Side.
The NYC Ferry system is launching two new routes in August, bringing service to the South Bronx and Manhattan’s East Side. Photo Credit: Gregory Koz

The Bronx is finally getting its city ferry service.

The NYC Ferry system’s last two routes, serving the South Bronx and Manhattan’s East Side, will launch in the coming weeks, the de Blasio administration announced Wednesday.

The Soundview Route, beginning service on Aug. 15, will run from Clason Point Park in the Bronx to Wall Street/Pier 11, making stops along the way at East 90th Street and East 34th Street during what will be a 54-minute trip, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which manages the service.

The Lower East Side Route, launching on Aug. 29, will run from Wall Street/Pier 11 to Long Island City, stopping at Corlears Hook, Stuyvesant Cove and East 34th Street — a 32-minute trip from start to finish.

“We’re excited to launch NYC Ferry service in the Bronx, the Upper East Side and the Lower East Side, which have historically been transit deserts,” said city EDC President James Patchett in a statement. “For the same cost of a subway ride, New Yorkers that live and work in these communities will now have a fast, affordable and convenient way to get around the city.”

Since its launch in May 2017, NYC Ferry has served more than five million riders, but critics believe the city is spending too much money on a low-capacity niche transit service; the subway system, for instance, carries more than five million people each weekday.

In May, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would pump an additional $300 million into the NYC Ferry service — nearly twice as much taxpayer money as originally planned — to pay for a larger fleet, a second home port and other infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the new rider projections: nine million annual passengers by 2023.