NYC to launch new hybrid ferry to Governors Island

Posted On Thu, March 30, 2023 By

Posted On Thu, March 30, 2023 By In Manhattan, Transportation

Renderings courtesy of the Elliott Bay Design Group

New York City’s first-ever public hybrid-electric ferry will set sail next summer. Revealed on Wednesday by Mayor Eric Adams and the Trust for Governors Island, the new vessel uses a hybrid propulsion system that drastically reduces air pollution, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by roughly 600 tons per year, according to a press release. The ferry will start carrying passengers between Lower Manhattan and Governors Island in the summer of 2024.

“Visiting Governors Island is a great way to support cutting-edge climate solutions, and soon, visitors will be able to go one step further just by traveling there,” Adams said. “As New Yorkers transition to greener forms of transportation, the city and our partners are leading the way with cleaner, more efficient ways to go just about anywhere. The next generation deserves a green city and a vibrant Governors Island, and this first-of-its-kind ferry will help us deliver both.”

Designed by the Elliot Bay Design Group, the ferry will serve up to 1,200 riders at a time and has a cruising speed of 10 knots. It features modern amenities like a lower-level ADA-accessible lounge and bathrooms on each level. The ferry is currently under construction at the Conrad Shipyard facility in Morgan City, Louisiana. Elliot Bay will provide technical support services to the Trust as the ferry continues to be built.

The ship’s hybrid propulsion system allows it to “toggle” between “zero-emission battery-only power” and “battery-assisted hybrid with diesel backup,” according to a press release. There are future plans to install a rapid charging system that will allow the vessel to operate using only battery power, cutting its emissions to nearly zero.

The new ferry will replace the diesel-powered Lt. Samuel S. Coursen, the Trust’s current passenger ferry that has been in use since it was first commissioned by the U.S. Army in 1956.

In anticipation of the ferry’s launch, Adams and the Trust kicked off a citywide competition to name the new vessel. New Yorkers can suggest names for the ferry here until May 25. The winning name will be announced this summer.

“This hybrid ferry marks a historic step forward in expanding access to Governors Island while promoting state-of-the-art and sustainable technology to power our ferry fleet,” Clare Newman, president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, said.

“Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors board our vessels and journey to Governors Island to experience our rich recreational, cultural, and educational resources. We are thrilled to make the journey easier for our visitors while helping to lead the charge in electrifying the vessels of New York Harbor.”


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Neighborhoods : Governors Island



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