Mayor Bill de Blasio, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Citywide Ferry operator Hornblower have announced that construction has officially begun on 19 vessels that will kick off New York City’s first citywide ferry system, with vessels sporting the latest in 21st century maritime technology. The mayor said in a statement, “We are moving full steam ahead and bringing modern ferry boats, outfitted with the latest technology and safety features, to our waterways. This new fleet will help us connect commuters and visitors alike to neighborhoods throughout the city.”
Seven aluminum-made vessels have already hit the assembly line at two world-class shipyards, Metal Shark in Jeanerette, Louisiana and Horizon in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, with about 200 full-time builders on the job between the two.
The 85-foot-long, fuel-efficient boats with heated decks and wifi, each with a capacity for 150 passengers, are expected to arrive in New York Harbor in early 2017. Final assembly will take place at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
As 6sqft previously reported, Citywide Ferry Service will carry a projected 4.6 million passenger trips per year over six routes, stopping at 21 landings throughout the city and providing new transportation to growing and underserved communities. The East River Ferry will be integrated into the new service, which will bring bring down the cost of a ferry ride to $2.75–the price of a subway swipe. Bikes will add a buck to your trip (there’s also a $20 bike pass); monthly passes will be available, price TBA.
Phase one of Citywide Ferry Service, which will include the Astoria, South Brooklyn and Rockaway routes, is scheduled to launch in summer of 2017, with the Soundview and Lower East Side routes to be up and running by 2018. Expansions for Coney Island and Stapleton on Staten Island are in planning stages. The city is investing $55 million in infrastructure upgrades and $30 million in operating support per year over a period of six years.
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Images courtesy of Citywide Ferry