The highly awaited Rockaway ferry is expected to launch service a whole month ahead of schedule, at 5:30 am on May 1, according to DNAInfo.
The route will connect from the new dock at Beach 108th Street to Brooklyn Army Terminal and then finally to Pier 11 at Wall Street.
This ferry is the first of the Citywide Ferry routes — now officially named NYC Ferry—to launch and the city’s second graders are eager to name the boats on the route, says Curbed NY.
The price of a ride on this brand new ferry will be a reduced flat rate of $2.75, but will not provide free transfers to MTA buses or subways, DNAInfo says.
The Rockaway ferry, which is designed differently since it will be handling more turbulent waters, docked at Liberty Landing in New Jersey on Sunday so that it can receive the finishing touches, reported DNAInfo.
The South Brooklyn NYC Ferry line is set to launch June 1 and the Astoria route in August, while the other lines (Astoria, Soundview and the Lower East Side) are scheduled for 2018, according to the Ferry’s website.
"Rockaway residents have some of the longest commute times in the city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press release regarding the news.
"We promised we'd bring them our new NYC Ferry service first, and today we're delivering on that promise.”
In a related development, it has been reported that the new ferries will sport monikers created for them by New York City second graders. After the votes were tallied in the citywide boat naming contest, the results revealed that the imagination of the second graders was in high gear. The sea faring vessels will be called Lunchbox, Friendship Express, Sunset Crossing, Urban Journey, Waves of Wonder and McShiny, among others that have yet to be named.
According to a report on Curbed.com, James Patchett, who heads up the city’s Economic Development Corporation that’s behind the new boats, told WNYC radio that he thought it was important for kids who live close to the ferry landings to feel some ownership of it. “They put a lot of thought into these names and they really took it seriously,” he said.
The Ferry Service and Economic Growth
In early March of this year, Mayor DeBlasio’s office announced that the city would begin the hiring process for the first of 200 new jobs to be created by the soon to be launched Citywide Ferry Service. All boats will now be docked, fueled and maintained out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where an additional passenger stop also will be added starting in 2018.
The new jobs include captains and deckhands. Jobseekers can apply through the City Department of Small Business Services’ WorkForce1 Centers, or at CitywideFerry.NYC, or through the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Employment Center. All jobs will pay the City’s Living Wage or higher, and provide comprehensive benefits.
“For the price of a subway ride, Citywide Ferry service will connect millions of riders to jobs and homes all along New York City’s waterfront. As we prepare to launch this summer, we are focused on the finishing touches, and hiring captains, deckhands, engineers and maintenance workers who will operate these boats,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Construction is now underway on the Navy Yard ‘homeport.’ The 56,000 square-foot maintenance and storage facility will include berthing space for 25 boats, supplies and parts, and utilities, including a 40,000-gallon diesel fueling system. It will provide routine maintenance including exterior and interior cleaning, restocking of food and beverage items, fueling and basic repairs. The homeport pier is being elevated to comply with the newest FEMA flood standards. It will be fully outfitted by early 2018, enabling passenger service to an additional stop on the East River route between South Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Mayor de Blasio’s FY2018 capital budget includes funding for an additional boat to provide for service to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is undergoing its largest expansion in nearly 60 years. More than 7,000 people work at the Yard today, with that number expected to increase to 17,000 by 2020. Tenants at the Brooklyn Navy Yard are covering the majority of costs associated with constructing the new landing.
With 20 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 for traditionally underserved communities and where jobs and housing are growing rapidly. Several of those landings, including the Rockaways, are already being installed and the first of the new vessels being built at shipyards in Louisiana and Alabama are set to arrive in New York Harbor this month.
The Navy Yard will provide free shuttle service for area residents to the new ferry landing from its Cumberland gate, putting the service in reach of thousands of NYCHA residents at Ingersoll, Farragut Houses, and Walt Whitman Houses.
“It’s official: Citywide Ferry is now hiring!” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett. “With our new homeport at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we’re ensuring all 200 of these living wage ferry jobs are located here in the five boroughs. And once Citywide Ferry launches this summer, we’ll be connecting New Yorkers to even more good jobs in industries like tech and manufacturing all along the city’s waterfront.”
"Public transportation is such a vital service for New Yorkers and I am happy to see the Mayor expanding ferry service. Our water ways are a huge resource and there are so many opportunities that can be realized by making greater use of them. I look forward to continuing to support working waterfronts that serve as hubs for industry, innovation and job creation in our city,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery.
"More jobs, more ferries, and more local investment make for a trifecta of 'ferry' good news," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "As a long-time advocate of expanded ferry service and investing in the Navy Yard, I look forward to the increased transportation options and job investment across the city. Thank you to the City, EDC, and the Navy Yard."
“A more connected city – and the jobs that come along with it – are just on the horizon,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “I applaud the Mayor taking the challenge of transportation and turning it into an opportunity. The new homeport at the Brooklyn Navy Yard continues the trajectory of Brooklyn as a leader in innovation and inclusive economic development. Whether it’s more jobs or better transportation options, Citywide Ferry has the potential to substantially improve our community.”
"Today is another fine example of how our city uses its resources to support the economic needs of our residents. The Brooklyn Navy Yard's vision and mission for this ferry system not only creates alternative transportation methods for thousands of New Yorkers but it also provides much needed employment opportunities for residents of Central Brooklyn through the Workforce One Centers managed by NYC's Small Business Services. I want to congratulate all involved with seeing this project to fruition and look forward to continued prosperity throughout our great city,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy.
“We are excited to see the first wave of jobs being created with the launch of Citywide Ferry Service. We applaud the Mayor for taking the helm when it comes to waterfront development and the need for connecting millions of people to jobs across Brooklyn,” said Andrew Hoan, President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
“The Citywide Ferry is great news for Community District 2,” said Shirley A. McRae, Chair of Brooklyn CB 2. “It provides residents, workers and tourists with another transportation option. The homeport is adding jobs to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and a planned ferry stop in the yard will one day serve those employees.”
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.
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.
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.
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.