NYC Ferry will roll out new and extended lines on Staten Island, Coney Island and further north in the Bronx, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.
“Every day millions of us lose minutes, sometimes hours, just getting to work, or school or wherever we have to be. It shouldn’t be this hard to get around in the greatest city in the world. And so we’re giving people more and better options," the mayor said during his sixth State of the City address in Manhattan.
The news is likely to please representatives of those neighborhoods who have long fought for the service to improve long commutes. Some transit experts, however, view NYC Ferry as a costly, niche commuting option. NYC Ferry’s current per-trip subsidy is notably higher than MTA local bus or subway service.
The two new routes — plus two expanded or tweaked routes — will go live over the next three years, and are expected to cost the same as the current service: $2.75 a trip, with no-fee transfers to MTA services, which, unlike the ferries, are operated by the state.
The Staten Island route will launch in 2020 and operate out of St. George, the same neighborhood served by the free Staten Island Ferry. The new service will run up Manhattan’s west side, making stops at Battery Park City and Midtown West’s Pier 79 at West 39th Street.
A Coney Island route will come online in 2021, leaving from the Brooklyn beach neighborhood and making stops in Bay Ridge and Wall Street Pier 11.
The city will also modify its existing Astoria Route in 2019 to extend service to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and will reconfigure the South Brooklyn Route in 2021 to run from the Brooklyn Army Terminal instead of Bay Ridge. The South Brooklyn Route also will no longer make stops in DUMBO.
The Soundview route will be extended north in 2021 and begin at Ferry Point Park in Throggs Neck.
According to the most recent city report from the second quarter of 2018 on ridership, NYC Ferry averages 14,405 daily riders. By comparison, the city’s local bus and subway networks serve roughly seven million commuters daily.
The city did not immediately respond to requests for details on specific landing sites or estimated travel times for each route.