Mayor de Blasio Celebrates Launch of NYC Ferry Service to Red Hook and Bay Ridge Set for Tomorrow

May 31, 2017

A quarter of a million New Yorkers have ridden NYC Ferry since May 1 launch

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, joined by elected officials, community residents and leaders, today announced the launch of the South Brooklyn Route, the third NYC Ferry route. Opening Thursday, June 1, at 6:30 a.m., the route will connect residents and workers from Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Lower Manhattan, and shorten commutes for thousands of New Yorkers.

Ferries on the new South Brooklyn Route will run every 30 minutes during peak hours on week days, and every 45 to 55 minutes on weekends. NYC Ferry has already carried 243,000 passengers in its first month of service.

"We're bringing more ferry service to more neighborhoods that need better transit. For decades, neighborhoods like Red Hook haven't had the options they deserve. We're changing that. NYC Ferry means an affordable way to get to work, to school and to opportunity," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

"Southwest Brooklyn has historically been a transit desert for thousands of New Yorkers, but that changes tomorrow with the launch of the South Brooklyn Route" said New York City Economic Development President and CEO James Patchett. "For the same cost of a subway ride, residents and workers in Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, and Red Hook will now have a fast and affordable commuting option to Lower Manhattan and other parts of the City."

The South Brooklyn Route makes 7 stops: the Bay Ridge Avenue pier, Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Atlantic Basin in Red Hook, Atlantic Avenue (BBP Pier 6), DUMBO (BBP Pier 1), and Wall Street's Pier 11. New schedules for the Rockaway, East River and South Brooklyn Routes will go into effect on June 1. Detailed timetables along with a map of all 2017 routes can be viewed here.

The South Brooklyn Route will add more frequent ferries between some of the system's busiest destinations – easing crowds and congestion. It will add 40 percent more service between DUMBO and Wall Street during weekday morning and evening peak times. On summer weekends, when NYC Ferry experiences high demand to park destinations across the harbor, the new route will provide the NYC Ferry system with additional service between DUMBO and Wall Street, and more connections from Brooklyn to Governors Island.

The launch of the South Brooklyn Route follows the successful start of the Rockaway Route and the integration of the East River Route, both on May 1. Combined, the routes have served approximately 243,000 riders to date, surpassing initial projections by nearly 93,000 passengers.

Once the NYC Ferry system is fully operational, the combined routes will cover more than 60 miles of waterway at $2.75 per ride, the same cost of a subway ride, and the cost of a 30-day unlimited ferry pass will be $121, mirroring the cost of a 30-day MetroCard. This price builds on Mayor de Blasio's commitment to ensuring that NYC Ferry is affordable to New Yorkers. The Astoria Route, the fourth of six routes total, is set to launch in August. The two final routes, Lower East Side and Soundview, will launch next year.

"Brooklynites in the transit-challenged communities of Bay Ridge, Red Hook, and Sunset Park are going to benefit greatly from the new South Brooklyn Route," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. "Ferry service will make commutes shorter, provide another option for visitors looking to explore our waterfront, as well as relieve pressures on our roadways and subways. As we continue to expand NYC Ferry service, we must continue exploring new and innovative transit options to serve ridership needs across the five boroughs, particularly by expanding the use of our waterways as an essential component of our city's transportation network."

"Red Hook has long faced significant transportation and transit challenges. This new route will provide another affordable option for commuters who live in Southwest Brooklyn, while bringing New Yorkers and other visitors into our area, benefiting our local businesses," said U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez.

"The South Brooklyn NYC Ferry Route means smoother sailing around South Brooklyn, our Harbor Park, and Lower Manhattan," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "I've long supported expanded ferry access to help expand our Harbor Park, a Central Park for the center of our city – including at Pier 6, Governors Island, and across my district – making today's debut all the more exciting. Thank you to the City, NYCEDC and NYC Ferry, Hornblower, and my colleagues."

"I want to commend the Mayor on the expansion of NYC ferry routes to south Brooklyn. It is extremely helpful to utilize our waterways to provide dependable transportation options for New Yorkers. The growth of NYC ferries will help to reduce overcrowding on subways and buses, offer reliable transportation to the underserved communities of Bay Ridge and Sunset Park and allow commuters to travel expeditiously throughout the city," said State Senator Martin J. Golden.

"I would like to thank the Mayor's office and New York City Economic Development Corporation for working to address the issue of transportation equality for Southern Brooklyn residents. The launch of the new South Brooklyn Route will provide a much-needed alternative for residents who too often have to put up with overcrowded buses and trains. This route connects South Brooklyn's residential communities to Manhattan in under an hour, cutting down commute times and reducing the pressure on current public transportation options. For New Yorkers who are trying to get to and from work and school, the ferry will be a game-changer. Commuters have had to deal with crammed buses and trains and frequent delays for too long, and this will be a welcome change," said Assembly Member Pamela Harris.

"This is truly a historic day for Bay Ridge. Since the last ferry boat set sail from this pier way back in the 90's, I have been fighting to bring permanent commuter ferry service back to the 69th Street / American Veterans Memorial Pier. Whether it was through petitions, advocacy or just banging the drum, we never lost hope and we never gave up. And now, thanks to Mayor de Blasio, NYC Ferry and the EDC, our call has been answered and the day has finally come! Commuter ferry service from Bay Ridge to Pier 11 in lower Manhattan is back!" said Deputy Majority Leader and Council Member Vincent J. Gentile.

"With the announcement of this new route, our City, especially traditionally transit-starved neighborhoods, begins to come closer together," said Council Member Stephen Levin. "By activating our waterfront through the expansion of NYC Ferry, we are expanding our transportation horizons and expanding opportunity to New Yorkers everywhere."

"One month into NYC Ferry by Hornblower, we've seen the excitement first hand from New Yorkers and visitors alike who have chosen to hop on board and experience the newest way to work, live, play across our growing waterfront network," said Cameron Clark, Senior VP for NYC Ferry by Hornblower.  "The excitement continues to build with the launch of the South Brooklyn Route, which includes our newest connections in Bay Ridge and Red Hook along with the ability to transfer to the Rockaway Route at Brooklyn Army Terminal and the East River Route at Brooklyn Bridge Par, all for the same price as a single subway ride."

Earlier this year, the City revealed names for what will ultimately be 20 new NYC Ferry boats. Second graders with schools near ferry landings were invited to name the 2017 fleet of boats, selected names included Munsee, The Connector, Owl's Head, Great Eagle, Happy Hauler, McShiny, Opportunity, and Flyer. Also, Lunchbox, Waves of Wonder, The Friendship Express, and Sunset Crossing.

Ferry riders can download the NYC Ferry App to purchase e-tickets, allowing for easy scan-and-go boarding, and get detailed maps and schedules, as well as real-time notifications and service alerts. Use of the app provides a more environmentally friendly service by reducing the use of paper tickets, although ticketing kiosks will also be available at each landing. The NYC Ferry App is live and available for download in both the Apple and Google Play stores.

NYC Ferry homeport construction is currently underway at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The 56,000-square-foot maintenance and storage facility will include berthing space for 25 boats, supplies and parts, and utilities, including a 40,000-gallon diesel fueling system. The homeport will also be the site for routine maintenance, including exterior and interior cleaning, restocking of food and beverage items, fueling and basic repairs. It will be fully outfitted by early 2018.

Additionally, there will be a new ferry landing at the Brooklyn Navy Yard near the homeport facility that will be part of the East River Route and is slated to start service by fall 2018.

NYC Ferry is hiring for various jobs, including captains and deckhands. Jobseekers can apply directly through Hornblower's website, www.ferry.nyc.  NYC Ferry will ultimately provide 200 jobs, all of which will pay the City's Living Wage or higher and includes comprehensive benefits.

For those seeking inspiration for their NYC Ferry travels, NYC & Company has listed suggested places to check out by neighborhood at nycgo.com/nycferry and encourage sharing experiences on social media using the hashtag #seeyourcity.

pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov

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