The NYC Ferry’s successful first three months of operation have seen more than one million passengers ride the new mode of transit, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
“NYC Ferry opens doors for people, and it’s being located in many of the locations that have been problems in this city for decades, areas that just didn’t have enough transportation; that were deprived of the mass transit they needed,” de Blasio said at a news conference announcing the millionth NYC Ferry rider since May 1. “Ridership has immediately far exceeded what we projected, and that is a very, very good thing.”
The NYC Ferry system launched with 20 city-owned ferries cruising down the East River from Rockaway, Queens, to Wall Street and South Brooklyn. In late August, it will extend to Roosevelt Island, Long Island City and Astoria. Ridership in the first three months indicated the ferry is on track to meet the city’s projected figures of 4-plus million passengers per year.
However, that hasn’t come without complaints, as many early riders complained of delays and crowded ferries. De Blasio acknowledged the hiccups and pledged to improve service by adding bigger boats.
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“We’ve gotten larger ferries and charter boats to address that situation. We also have decided as a result of already seeing just these first few months of success to increase the size of the boats that are now coming into production that will be part of our fleet,” de Blasio said. “Each of these boats will be increased by 67 percent in terms of their capacity. … Bigger boats are going to help us address demand, and we’re going to keep building the system."