While there were plenty of highlights in Mayor de Blasio’s State of the City address yesterday–from affordable housing to raising the minimum wage–it was undoubtedly the announcement of a city-wide ferry system that really got New Yorkers talking.
De Blasio said that the ferry service will open in 2017, with pricing on par with the Metrocard, as a way to accommodate the growing population of New York. It will serve neighborhoods including the Lower East Side, Astoria, the Rockaways, Sunset Park, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Bay Ridge, Red Hook, and Soundview, among others. A new map released today shows the entirety of the system, breaking down existing ferry lines, those planned for 2017 and 2018, and those proposed.
The current ferry plan will cost $55 million, with plans to expand to Coney Island and Stapleton in Staten Island once more money is secured. The Astoria line is set to open in 2017, with stops at Astoria Cove, Long Island City, Roosevelt Island, East 34th Street, and Pier 11/Wall Street. That same year, the South Brooklyn ferry will open, making stops at 11/Wall Street, Bay Ridge, Red Hook, Atlantic Avenue/Pier 6, and Fulton/DUMBO. The Lower East Side ferry will come the following year with stops at Long Island City, East 34th Street, East 23rd Street, Grand Street, and Pier 11/Wall Street. And finally, the Soundview ferry service will also begin in 2018, making stops at Soundview in the Bronx, East 90th Street, East 62nd Street, and Wall Street/Pier 11 (quite the express route). Additionally, service will be restored to the Rockaway ferry, which was put in place in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy wiped out subway service to the area.
In a piece in the Daily News today, Anthony Weiner discusses the economic benefits that the five-borough ferry system could bring: “If the city does this right and uses the capital budget to purchase its ferries and share staff, maintenance and fare collection with the other elements of our transit system, the per-ride subsidy will drop.”