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Press Release

NYCEDC and Hornblower Unveil Completion Of First Citywide Ferry Vessel Superstructure At Horizon Shipyard In Alabama

Nov 17 2016

Hornblower and NYCEDC toured both Metal Shark and Horizon Shipyards

First ferries expected to be delivered to NYC early 2017

Additional photos and video from the visit are available at

BAYOU LA BATRE, AL—Officials from Hornblower and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) toured the Horizon Shipyard facility Wednesday morning and received an update on construction, which is on schedule, and inspected the first completed citywide ferry superstructure. Completion of the superstructure marks a significant milestone in what will become New York City’s first citywide ferry service and one of the largest commuter ferry operations in the United States. Phase 1 of Citywide Ferry will launch in summer 2017.

Hornblower’s CEO Terry MacRae, Senior Vice President and Citywide Ferry Project Manager Cameron Clark and NYCEDC Executive Vice President Seth Myers were among the officials on the tour led by Horizon Shipyard CEO Travis Short. Also joining the tour was Chris Allard, the CEO of Metal Shark- the other shipyard building several of the 19 vessels. Metal Shark is located in Jeanerette, Louisiana, about four hours west of Horizon Shipyard. Currently, eight boats are under construction at Horizon Shipyard and four boats are under construction at Metal Shark.

The vessels will be equipped with the latest in 21st-century maritime technology and best design practices. Approximately 200 full-time builders between both shipyards are working on the project. Construction of the barges has been underway for several months on Staten Island. Later this year, NYCEDC will begin installation of new ferry landings for the 2017 routes.

Video of Hornblower CEO Terry MacRae and NYCEDC Executive Vice President Seth Myers speaking about the project from Horizon Shipyard can be found here:

Photos and b-roll video highlighting the tour of Horizon Shipyard, the completion of the first Citywide Ferry superstructure, its facilities and the progress of the numerous vessels under construction can be viewed here:

Photo and video credit: Edwin Mackey.

Specs and features for Citywide Ferry vessels include:

  • Capacity for 150 passengers along with space for bikes, strollers and wheelchairs.
  • ADA Local Law 68/2005 accessibility and compliance.
  • Boats are 85 feet long, offering passengers more space than more traditional ferries.
  • Ferries are primarily built out of aluminum, which is safe, light weight and increases fuel efficiency. The fleet of 19 vessels will be built with the equivalent of over 77 million cans of aluminum.
  • Use of ultra-efficient engines to reduce emissions.
  • Innovative hull design to limit wake and maximize fuel efficiency.
  • Wi-Fi available throughout the vessel.
  • Heated decks that increase each vessel’s resiliency and durability, especially during the cold, snowy winter months.

Horizon Shipyard and Metal Shark have over 50 years of experience in building large quantities of top-of-the-line vessels. Both shipyards have expanded their facilities in recent years and utilize the latest in 21st-century build strategies to ensure their projects are delivered on-schedule in order to build vessels for the armed services, and passenger vessel, cruise, oil industries and more. Completion of Citywide Ferry will be no exception, with the first boats expected to be delivered from each yard early next year.

Hornblower’s experienced project management team, which has supervised several successful project launches in New York State under tight deadlines, has staff on the ground at both shipyards and maintains constant communication with shipyard staff to ensure transparency and efficiency.

With nineteen vessels operating at 21 landings across New York City, Citywide Ferry will carry an estimated 4.6 million trips per year across six routes - providing a new and easily accessible transit option traditionally underserved communities and where job and housing are growing rapidly. The existing East River Ferry will be fully integrated into Citywide Ferry, which will reduce the cost of that service to $2.75 from $4, the same cost of a subway ride.

For more information on Citywide Ferry and to stay up-to-date on the construction process and progress, please visit www.CitywideFerry.NYC.

More Details on Citywide Ferry Service

New Jobs:

  • At least 155 new jobs in New York Harbor.
  • Crew will earn a living wage, along with a comprehensive benefits package.
  • Hornblower will participate in the City’s HireNYC program, which matches qualified applicants from neighborhood-based WorkForce1 training centers.


  • Rockaway, South Brooklyn and Astoria routes are scheduled to launch in 2017.
  • Rockaway route will connect to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Wall Street.
  • Astoria route will connect to Astoria, Roosevelt Island (Cornell Tech), Long Island City, East 34th Street and Wall Street.
  • South Brooklyn route will connect Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 and Pier 6, and Wall Street, with an optional link to Governors Island (launch date TBD).
  • Soundview and Lower East Side routes to launch in 2018.
  • Routes from Coney Island and Stapleton on Staten Island are in the planning stages for future expansion.
  • Combined routes will cover over 60 miles of waterway.
  • Over half a million New Yorkers live within a half-mile of one of the 21 Citywide Ferry landings, including over 15,000 families living in NYCHA developments.

Commuting Times:

  • Rockaway to Wall Street (1 stop): Approximately 1 hour
  • Astoria to E 34th Street (2 stops): Approximately 22 minutes
  • Astoria to Wall Street (3 stops): Approximately 38 minutes
  • Soundview to Wall Street (2 stops): Approximately 43 minutes
  • Bay Ridge to Wall Street (4 stops): Approximately 48 minutes


  • Cost per ride will equal that of a single subway ride.
  • Over 4,000 daily East River Ferry customers will see fares reduced from $4 to the cost of a single subway ride.
  • Fare will allow for free transfers to any other ferry route within the system, including the East River Ferry.
  • Both paper and smartphone ticketing will be available, with payments accepted via cash, credit, or debit card. Discounts will be available for seniors, children and New Yorkers with disabilities.
  • Passengers will be allowed to bring bicycles on board for a $1 fee.

The Boats:

  • Each boat will be able to carry 150 passengers.
  • All boats will be equipped with WiFi.
  • Boats will be fully accessible to New Yorkers with disabilities, and will comply with the requirements of both the Americans with Disabilities Act and New York City Local Law 68 of 2005.
  • New boats will be equipped with the most modern engine design available to reduce emissions and noise, as well as an efficient hull design that will limit wakes and maximize fuel economy.
  • The city contract with Hornblower allows the company to charter vessels if necessary to meet the implementation timeline.

City Support:

  • The city is investing $55 million in infrastructure upgrades, including building 10 new ferry landings. Barge construction is currently underway at a facility on Staten Island.
  • The city is providing $30 million in operating support per year, over a period of six years. Based on a projection of 4.6 million annual trips, the per-trip subsidy for Citywide Ferry Service will be $6.60, lower than the nearly $8 per trip subsidy on the Long Island Railroad or the nearly $15 per trip subsidy for express buses. The city is providing $10 million for additional startup costs, such as vessel upgrades and ticketing machines.
  • Potential sponsorships would offset operating costs.
  • City negotiated an option to acquire at least 18 state-of-the-art, highly efficient passenger ferry vessels, allowing for greater operational flexibility and providing significant savings to taxpayers over the life of the service (roughly up to $5 million per year).
  • City will receive a portion of fare-box revenue if ridership exceeds 5.6 million passengers.

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.