After years of complaints from Coney Island residents of long commutes and longer response times from officials, New York City is getting a major ferry expansion, Mayor de Blasio announced today.
"It's official. The NYC Ferry will now serve all five boroughs," Mayor de Blasio said at a press conference. "We're delivering new routes to Staten Island, Coney Island, and new stops in the Bronx and Brooklyn."
Two full new routes, between St. George and Midtown West and between Coney Island and Wall Street, will be launching in 2020 and 2021, respectively. These lines were chosen after the NYC Economic Development Corporation launched a feasibility study in August 2018 to test the waters on whether the ferry system to expand to accommodate growing waterfront communities.
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"Everything we can do to end our commuting nightmare is a step in the right direction," said Congressman Max Rose. "The ultimate goal for this ferry route must be to shorten the tortuous commute that Staten Islanders on the South Shore endure."
In addition to the new lines, several existing ferry routes will be changed, with a new stop being added to the Soundview Route in Throggs Neck/Ferry Point by 2021. Both the South Brooklyn and Astoria Routes will be modified in the next two years: South Brooklyn ferries will no longer start at Bay Ridge, which the new Coney Island route will take over, and also will skip Brooklyn Bridge Pier 1 to cut down on travel time. The Astoria Route will begin stopping at the Brooklyn Navy Yard this year.
"In less than two years, NYC Ferry has become one of the most reliable, affordable, and beloved transit systems in the city," said James Patchett, EDC president and CEO. "Expansion of the system means getting even more New Yorkers where they need to go, increasing access to good-paying jobs, schools and other neighborhoods, all for the price of a subway ride."
According to predictions from the Mayor's office, this ferry expansion will see the system grow to serve 11 riders per year by 2023.