Via NYC Ferry
The city will launch two new ferry routes by 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday during his State of the City address. Staten Island and Coney Island will be added to the NYC Ferry system, providing a much faster commute to Manhattan for outer-borough New Yorkers. “It shouldn’t be this hard to get around in the greatest city in the world,” de Blasio said. “And so we’re giving people more and better options.” With the addition of the Staten Island route, all five boroughs will be a part of the NYC Ferry system by next year.
The Staten Island route will take commuters from St. George, where the free ferry currently docks, to Battery Park in 18 minutes, as the Staten Island Advance first reported. From Battery Park, it will take another 17 minutes to get to Midtown West, for a total 35-minute trip. According to the city, the route will launch in 2020.
Launching sometime in 2021, the Coney Island route connects South Brooklynites to Wall Street’s Pier 11 in less than 40 minutes. It will take 18 minutes for the ferry to run between Coney Island and Bay Ridge and another 19 minutes to reach its final destination in Lower Manhattan. Currently, a trip between Coney Island and Wall Street on the subway takes about an hour.
A new landing will also be added to Ferry Point in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx in 2021, as an extension of the Soundview route. And this year, a new stop will be added along the Astoria route at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Rubén Díaz Jr., the borough president of the Bronx, called the Ferry Point extension a victory for the borough. “I have long championed expanded ferry service across the city, and today’s announcement is a welcome one,” Diaz tweeted on Thursday.
De Blasio announced in May plans to invest $300 million in three new 350-passenger boats and new docks as ferry ridership exceeded the administration’s expectations by about 34 percent. The ferry system is now expected to serve 11 million passengers by 2023. But as operating costs increase, with more routes launching and boats added, the subsidy per-ride has also grown.
As Crain’s reported in October, the per-rider cost has been about $8.96 for the ferry, which costs $2.75 one way, the same price as a single subway trip. That means the city has been subsidizing about $6.60-per ride for passengers. In response, a spokesperson from the agency told Crain’s: “The incremental difference in operating costs is mainly attributed to increased service that was needed to meet ridership demand that surpassed our initial projections.”
The ferry has remained a popular alternative to the constantly-delayed subway. According to a report released last year by the city’s economic development corporation, the ferry system’s on-time performance hovers around 92 percent. In comparison, the subway’s on-time rate during the week is around 65 percent. Of course, many more New Yorkers ride, and have access to, the subway, putting more strain on the system overall.
- Ferry system costs NYC roughly $6.60 per passenger
- NYC Ferry now connects the South Bronx and Wall Street, cutting travel time in half
- De Blasio will spend an additional $300M on NYC Ferry as ridership doubles