City to Invest an Additional $300mm in Ferry Service
New York City’s ferry service, which began in May 2017, provides riders with four connecting routes across 17 piers in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens utilizing a fleet of 23 vessels. Now, with the inaugural year completed, James Patchett, chief executive of New York City Economic Development Corporation, states that the City plans to invest an additional $300 million into the program. The investment will add 10 new ferries, doubling the fleet's total capacity from 3,000 to 6,000.
Today, the City’s ferry system carries 3.7 million annual passengers along four routes – only 2 of which are full time. The program’s popularity has called for additional routes to be opened at the end of this summer – one to the Lower East Side and one to the Soundview section of the Bronx. Mayor de Blasio stated that the ferry service – at a cost of $2.75 per ride, which is equivalent to bus and subway fares – is a great alternative to the congested subway cars and roadways.
“They have come in numbers much greater that we could have imagined” stated de Blasio. The City anticipates annual ridership to reach 9 million by 2023.