New Queens-to-Manhattan NYC Ferry route launches today

August 29, 2017

The Astoria route of the NYC Ferry officially launched today, the fourth route introduced by the city this year. The service stops in Astoria, Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, East 34th Street and Wall Street, the complete trip totaling 47 minutes. While the ferries have been popular with commuters, two extra boats were added and fleets under construction were redesigned to be larger in June, concerns about recreational boaters coexisting without colliding into ferries have grown. As the New York Times reported, one free kayaking class won’t run their program until deciding it’s safe enough to do so.

kayak launch, long island city boathouse, Socrates sculpture park
Kayaks launch from Hallets Cove, photo via Socrates Sculpture Park

Since its May 1 launch, the city’s ferry system has had to compete for space on the East River with tugboats, cruise ships, yachts, kayaks and canoes. And while the ferries have not collided with any other boats, the Astoria ferry route docks from Hallets Cove, a popular spot for kayakers. President of the Long Island City Boathouse, which offers free kayaking lessons in partnership with the Socrates Sculpture Park, told the Times that putting a ferry terminal at Hallets Cove is “like building a subway stop in the middle of the playground.”

The chairwoman of the boathouse, Agnes Michalek, said they did not yet make a decision on whether it would be too dangerous to continue running the free lessons. She told the Times: “We won’t run a program until we feel it would be a safe program.”

Despite concerns, the NYC Ferry service continues to be popular with New Yorkers so far this summer and by the end of July, it hit the 1 million rider mark. In a city-conducted survey of ferry riders, more than 90 percent of them rated the service at least a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. As 6sqft previously covered, the ferry service experienced such high demand the first few weeks that passengers faced delays, long lines and over crowding. As more routes have been added, the wait-time for commuters to board the boats has reduced.

nyc ferry, ferry map
NYC Ferry map courtesy of NYC Ferry & Hornblower

For the same price as a single subway ride, $2.75, the boats are equipped with WiFi, bike racks and concession stands. According to city officials, an estimated 1,800 passengers will take the Astoria route each day. Find the complete schedule for all ferry routes here.

[Via NY Times]


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