Mayor de Blasio Launches NYC Ferry Service Connecting Astoria, Roosevelt Island, LIC and Manhattan

August 29, 2017

Inaugural trip departs from Astoria at 6:30 a.m.; NYC Ferry has served over 1.5 million riders since boats first launched May 1

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today officially launched NYC Ferry's Astoria route, with the first trip departing from Astoria at 6:30 a.m. headed to Wall Street/Pier 11. The Astoria route connects residents and workers in Astoria, Roosevelt Island, and Long Island City to Midtown and Lower Manhattan, shortening commutes for thousands of New Yorkers. Passengers are also able to transfer free of charge to NYC Ferry’s East River, Rockaway and South Brooklyn routes at East 34th Street and Wall Street/Pier 11.

NYC Ferry now carries approximately 12,000 daily riders, and the Astoria route is expected to add another 1,800 daily riders. Boats will run every 25 minutes during rush hours. Residents of Astoria Houses will be able to reach East 34th Street in just 29 minutes, cutting those commuting times by nearly half. Detailed timetables for the Astoria route, along with a map of all 2017 routes, can be viewed here.

“The amazing success of NYC Ferry is a tribute to the can-do attitude of New York City and underlines the tremendous need to connect underserved communities to jobs, schools, health care and parks. We will continue to improve public transportation options and quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.  

The opening of the Astoria Route follows the successful launches of the Rockaway and South Brooklyn Routes, and the integration of the East River Route. Combined, the routes have served over 1.5 million riders to date.

Due to high demand, NYC Ferry recently announced that it will be adding capacity to three of its twenty boats. These new boats will be outfitted with bigger engines and a capacity of up to 250 passengers.

“NYC Ferry is off to an amazing start, serving more than 1.5 million riders in less than four months,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett. “With today’s launch of the Astoria Route we’re expanding this great service to thousands of families in Western Queens and Roosevelt Island. New Yorkers that have faced limited access to public transit will now have a fast, comfortable, and affordable way to connect to good jobs and opportunities across the city.”

“Once our best-kept secret, New York City’s waterways are becoming one of our most celebrated public assets. And aside from a waterfront park, there’s no better place to enjoy them than from a ferry,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.

“NYC Ferry’s arrival this morning at Astoria, Roosevelt Island and Long Island City is a very exciting development,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.  “Under the Mayor’s leadership, New Yorkers have been offered a new transportation option that is fast, affordable, and convenient – and with 1.5 million rides so far, commuters are clearly voting with their feet.  Congratulations to our colleagues at EDC for reaching yet another great milestone this summer.”  

“The excitement and anticipation for ferry service has spread across New York Harbor and now with the launch of the Astoria Route, several additional communities, historically underserved by transit, now have a new affordable and efficient way to connect to Work. Live. Play,” said Cameron Clark, Senior Vice President for NYC Ferry Operates by Hornblower. “We are thrilled to launch the final route to complete the 2017 expansion of ferry service, and we encourage all Riders to download the NYC Ferry app, hop on board and let us elevate your commute.”

“Manhattan is the economic heart of our city, and every new transit link to and from Manhattan makes the city stronger,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Mass transit between many of the neighborhoods on this ferry route has become a crowded, complicated hassle, requiring two- and even three-seat rides on packed buses and subways. This new, one-seat ride to and from midtown and the Financial District could be a big help to commuters from Roosevelt Island and Western Astoria, and will be a boost to Roosevelt Island’s Cornell Tech campus.”

“I am thrilled that the NYC Ferry Astoria Route is officially opening. With stops in Astoria, Roosevelt Island, Long Island City,  East 34th Street, and Wall Street, this Route will connect many different communities in the 12th Congressional District which I’m privileged to represent.  NYC Ferry service is a boon to commuters, tourists, and New Yorkers trying to experience a new neighborhood.  I’m proud to work with Mayor de Blasio in support of expanding this important addition to New York City’s transportation options,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

“Increased access to reliable transportation options, including ferry service, is among the most critical needs for Western Queens’ residents. As we welcome new ferries, I will redouble my efforts to ensure our subway system improves during the current MTA crisis,” Senator Michael Gianaris said.

“NYC Ferry is a true testament to the Mayor Bill de Blasio’s commitment to improve and expand public transportation. In less than four months, it has served more than 1.5 million riders and now it is coming to Roosevelt Island, which will greatly benefit from an additional mode of transportation. This is a tremendous investment in our transportation system that will provide much needed access to the waterfront communities,” said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.

“Building resiliency and greater connectivity into our transportation network is key to a successful system," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “With the inaugural ride from Astoria, residents from this great Queens community will have a faster ride into Manhattan that is fun too!”

“The new Astoria ferry route will be life changing for the people of Western Queens, cutting travel time in half for many public housing residents and those living along the East River in Long Island City and Astoria,” Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer said. “I hear every day from my constituents of the need for reliable transportation options to get to work, school, and other appointments on time. Starting today, this new ferry route will bring a faster, smoother commute, and I’m thrilled to join my constituents today for the inaugural ride!”

“I’m excited to join our community for this inaugural ferry ride along the Astoria route. After years of advocacy and planning with the neighborhood, we’re happy to open this new route.  The NYC Ferry system expands public transit options for Western Astoria residents and will help revitalize Hallets Peninsula.  Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for his bold vision in helping to ensure this innovative and sustainable form of transportation is available for Astoria,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides.

“We are finally using our waterways to improve commutes for thousands of Roosevelt Islanders who will be able to take the new ferry. Roosevelt Islanders can travel by air (by tram), land (by car, bus, and train) and now water (by ferry), all offering improved commutes. After advocating alongside the community since before I got elected and continuing that fight for ferry service every day since then, I am proud to be a part of a City government that finally made it a reality,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Thank you to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Economic Development Corporation President James Patchett for reclaiming our waterways and bringing ferry service citywide.”

“This new route, with a stop at the 34th Street hub in my Council District, is a great addition to New York City’s transportation network. I look forward to working with the de Blasio administration to ensure we continue delivering a superb, speedy, and safe transit option on our waterways,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick.

“On behalf of the Astoria Houses Residents Association, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome a new era of transportation to Hallet’s Cove today. The start of NYC Ferry service right across the street from Astoria Houses means that our residents will now have access to a fast, affordable way to commute to other parts of the city, especially to Midtown and Downtown Manhattan, and free transfers to other NYC Ferry routes. This is a win for Astoria residents, families and job seekers alike,” said Claudia Coger, President of Astoria Houses Residents Association.

“Cornell Tech is proud to be a part of the Roosevelt Island community, and the campus has committed $2.5 million to support the new NYC Ferry service to the island. The new ferry will provide another seamless connection for island residents, students, faculty, staff, the companies at The Bridge, and visitors to travel seamlessly between Roosevelt Island, Manhattan, and the growing tech community in western Queens. The Cornell Tech campus is all about openness and collaboration, and we can’t wait to welcome New Yorkers when we officially open next month,” said Meghan French, Senior Director of External Relations at Cornell Tech.

“Roosevelt Island is just that: an island.  Linking it by ferry to the rest of the city is a goal​ that I have been personally working towards for over a decade, and this is a very exciting day. And just as exciting is that riders from Astoria,  Long Island City, really anywhere in the city, can now commute downtown to Pier 11 by ferry, since all routes end on Wall Street,” said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York.

“The Hunters Point Park Conservancy is happy to support NYC Ferry which help to alleviate the inundated 7 train. We look forward to welcoming NYC Ferry’s Astoria Route, and we appreciate the support NYC Ferry has provided the Hunters Point Park Conservancy,” Rob Basch, President, Hunters Point Park Conservancy.

“The members of the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association view the Astoria Ferry essential in the mission to bring the quality of life in Old Astoria to the highest possible level achievable. Expanded transportation options will increase investment in infrastructure, private enterprise, cultural institutions, services, education, and all other components that create healthy communities,” said Richard Khuzami, President of the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association (OANA).

“This expansion of the ferry system is tremendously exciting – providing key north south access for our residents, visitors and workers to all the great culture, jobs, restaurants, bars and waterfront parks – and access across the river to the great innovation opportunities at Cornell Tech and the medical corridor along the eastern shore of Manhattan all the way to Wall Street,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, President of the LIC Partnership, the local development corporation for Long Island City. “The success of the Hunters Point South ferry stop has shown how well this quick and enjoyable ride can bring LIC residents to the rest of the city, and the rest of the city to our community. The new LIC stop in Gantry Plaza State Park will be an essential gateway. This is a great ‘sea change’ for our neighborhood.”

“Roosevelt Island residents have long hoped for modern Ferry service for our unique community and we are very thankful to the City for this much needed additional means of transportation. I am very excited the day has arrived to take our first scenic trip!” said Susan Rosenthal, President and CEO of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.

“The Astoria Ferry is helping to better connect our waterfront spaces and communities to one another and to the City at large. Hallets Cove and the Hallets Point Peninsula are special and historic places in our community and the Astoria Ferry will shine a light on our special section of Queens,” said Katie Ellman, President of Green Shores NYC: It’s Your Waterfront.

“The opening of the Astoria Landing is going to be major game changer in an area that has often been underserved and overlooked” said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, Co-founder and CEO of Urban Upbound. “The transportation disparities that Astoria residents have suffered will finally be relieved.”

“Astoria residents have suffered too long in their transit desert, but a real oasis has appeared at last, with NYC Ferry offering fast and efficient waterborne transit to Manhattan. The new Astoria Route is one more piece of the growing and popular citywide ferry network. Waterfront Alliance salutes the de Blasio administration for rolling out this new service on time and on budget. Bravo!” said Roland Lewis, President and CEO, Waterfront Alliance.

“Manhattan CB1 is excited about the expansion of ferry service to Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan. This is evidence of the rebirth and vibrancy of this vital central business district. Using waterborne transportation has obvious advantages and we are encouraged by the expansion of public transportation,” said Anthony Notaro, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1.

“How many adjectives are there for wonderful? We are thrilled about the opening of the Astoria ferry landing. We are anticipating great success in Astoria and look forward to more ferries and more landings servicing NYC in the near future,” said Florence Koulouris, District Manager of Queens Community Board 1.  

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 two final routes, Lower East Side and Soundview, will launch next year.

A recent survey conducted by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) of over 1,300 riders found that 93% of customers gave NYC Ferry a satisfaction rating of seven or higher on a ten-point scale, with 66% giving the highest possible score. Findings also show that 87% of riders are New York City residents, with 85% of weekend riders and 90% of peak-hour riders residing in the five boroughs.

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 up to 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 on the East River Route, 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.

Ferry riders can download the NYC Ferry app to purchase e-tickets, allowing for easy scan-and-go boarding, get detailed maps and schedules, and receive 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.

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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