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Press Release

2017 Wrap: NYC Ferry Serves Nearly 3M Riders

Jan 11 2018

Ridership was 34% higher than initial 2017 projections

NYC Ferry trips covered more than 350,000 miles, more than distance from Earth to the Moon

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Hornblower, Operator of NYC Ferry, today released final ridership numbers for the inaugural 2017 season. As of December 31st, NYC Ferry had served a total of approximately 2,890,000 riders across all four routes currently in operation.

Based on preliminary ridership projections, NYC Ferry was anticipated to have served approximately 2.1 million riders by the end of 2017. Due to the tremendous popularity the system has experienced, NYC Ferry has exceeded that projection by 34%, or nearly 800,000 additional riders.

In response to high ridership, NYC Ferry recently announced that it will be adding capacity to six new boats starting in 2018. These new vessels will be outfitted with bigger engines and with a capacity to hold 349 passengers.

NYC Ferry boats also completed more than 37,000 trips in 2017, traveling more than 350,000 miles. That’s more than the distance from the earth to the moon, and enough to circle the globe fourteen times.

“NYC Ferry has proven to be more popular than we could have hoped, and nearly three million riders agree it’s the best way to get around the city,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “Now we’re looking forward to launching two more routes in 2018, helping even more riders connect to good jobs and opportunities.”

“Almost three million riders have chosen to work, live, play throughout New York Harbor and discover new untapped waterfront destinations across the city with NYC Ferry," said Cameron Clark, Senior VP for NYC Ferry operated by Hornblower. “We’re excited to continue building out the system and creating new opportunities and connections for riders with the launch of our Lower East Side and Soundview routes later this year.”

As of December 31st, 2017, NYC Ferry had served approximately:

  • 1,591,000 riders on the East River Route, which launched May 1st, up from 1,358,000 riders on the former East River Ferry during the same time period in 2016 or a 17% increase in total ridership
  • 545,000 on the Rockaway Route, which launched May 1st
  • 464,000 on the South Brooklyn Route, which launched June 1st
  • 290,000 on the Astoria Route, which launched August 29th

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.