Citywide ferry service launches


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From the Rockaways to Lower Manhattan: commuters ride the first of six eventual routes


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  • Mayor Bill de Blasio joins other elected officials and invited guests for a ceremonial ferry trip from the Rockaways to Manhattan on Sunday, April 30, 2017. Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office




  • Mayor Bill de Blasio, elected officials and guests took a ceremonial ferry trip from the Rockaways to Manhattan on Sunday, April 30, 2017. Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office




  • Passengers disembark from one of the first trips on the new citywide ferry service, which launched on Monday morning. Photo: Madeleine Thompson



The first of the city’s new fleet of ferry boats launched Monday morning, leaving the Rockaways at 5:30 a.m. With a stop at the Brooklyn Army Terminal before terminating at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan, the trip took about an hour. The Rockaway route is one of six that will eventually criss-cross the East River from Astoria to Governor’s Island.

Kelly Marcus wakes up early every morning so she can take the ferry instead of the subway. “I take the ferry all the time; it’s the best,” said Marcus, who rode one of the new vessels from Long Island City to get to work in Lower Manhattan on Monday. Though ferry service isn’t new to her, Marcus is excited for the places she can explore once the rest of the routes have opened. “I will use it as much as possible,” she said. “If it were running through the night, if it were running earlier, I’d be using it more, trust me.”

Marcus was also pleased to discover, upon opening the ticketing app, that the cost of her commute had decreased. Ferry rides on the new routes cost $2.75 — the same as the subway — a reduction compared to existing commuter ferries, which cost $4.

The East River route, which connects East Midtown to Wall Street via stops in Queens and Brooklyn, also launched Monday, and the South Brooklyn route will follow on June 1. The Astoria route will launch this August, and the rest in the summer or 2018.

“New Yorkers need all the mass transit options we can get, and NYC Ferry service will give us new routes and connections between neighborhoods that we’ve never had before,” Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said in a statement issued by the mayor’s office. “I’m excited for the launch of the service, and hope it’s so successful that we have no choice but to expand it to even more neighborhoods.”

The boats, commissioned from ferry operator Hornblower and named by New York City second graders (names include “Lunchbox” and “Urban Jungle”), are equipped with wifi, a concession stand, bike racks and room for 149 passengers. Tickets can be purchased through the new NYC Ferry app. More information about routes and schedules is available at www.ferry.nyc.

Madeleine Thompson can be reached at newsreporter@strausnews.com




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