De Blasio will spend an additional $300M on NYC Ferry as ridership doubles

Posted On Thu, May 3, 2018 By

Posted On Thu, May 3, 2018 By In Transportation

Via NYC Ferry

“We’re gonna need a bigger boat” commented Mayor Bill di Blasio at a press conference in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, this morning touting the surge in popularity of ferries. NYC’s ferry service is expected to carry as many as 9 million passengers by 2023, twice the original projections. And to accommodate this, Mayor de Blasio said he was increasing spending on ferries, including a $300 million investment for three new, larger 350-passenger capacity boats, news docks and piers and an additional port for maintenance.  The current NYC Ferry fleet contains 20 150-passenger capacity vessels.

nyc ferry, ferry mapVia NYC Ferry

Not only does de Blasio loves his ferries but clearly everyone does as well. The current ridership is 34 percent higher than expected. Two weeks ago, 6sqft reported on the huge push de Blasio has made to grow the ferry service since 2017. Less than a month ago, he announced two new routes: the Soundview route and the Lower East Side route, both launching this summer. That increases the route from six to eight total.

Also included in today’s announcement is a rush-hour express run between the Rockaways and Lower Manhattan. This route will provide a nonstop cruise from one of the farthest reaches of the city to Manhattan’s financial district.

Economic Development Corporation spokeswoman Stephanie Baez said these new ships would arrive next year. Baez also added that on hot days, new beach routes would be added, based on demand. Additionally, more staff will be hired to help people unfamiliar with the ferry service, to decrease wait time in the queues and to increase the quantity and size of the signage at the ports.

The $300 million investment will be made over the next five years. All ferry trips cost $2.75, except for the Staten Island ferry which is free.

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