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Press Release

Model Citywide Ferry Boat Sets Sail For Brooklyn Borough Hall

Jan 30 2017

Scale model gives New Yorkers preview of ferry features, including spacious seating, bike racks, innovative design

First ferries expected to arrive in NYC early 2017

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams announced that, starting today, a scale model of the new Citywide Ferry boats will be on display at Brooklyn Borough Hall as part of a multi-borough tour. The model will be located in the lobby of Borough Hall, next to the Constituent Assistance Center, through Friday, February 17th. The model began its voyage at Queens Borough Hall and Rockaway Library earlier this year.

The model will give Brooklyn residents a first glimpse of some of the exciting features that will be offered in the modern, efficient ferry boats currently under construction, such as more spacious seating and places for commuters to stow their bicycles. Other specs and features of the 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.

The first new Citywide Ferry routes to launch in 2017 will include new South Brooklyn stops in Bay Ridge, Sunset Park (at the Brooklyn Army Terminal), Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 and Pier 6 , and DUMBO, connecting Brooklyn residents to good jobs in growing neighborhoods around the city. East River Ferry Service will also be integrated in Citywide Ferry Service, which will reduce the cost of that service to $2.75 from $4, the same cost of a subway ride.

“This summer, Citywide Ferry Service will offer a new and affordable transit option that will connect hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers with the city’s waterfronts,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “Starting today, a model of our new, state-of-the-art boats will be on display at Brooklyn Borough Hall so Brooklynites can see the vessel that will transform the way they travel throughout the city.”

"I hope Brooklynites enjoy the sneak preview at Brooklyn Borough Hall of our new Citywide Ferry boat. As we work hard to advance mass transit access to every corner of our city's biggest borough and its more than 2.6 million residents, we can look forward to expanded ferry service landing on shores from Bay Ridge to Greenpoint," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.

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. For more information and images on Citywide Ferry, 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.