It won’t be ferry long now.
Southern Brooklynites will be able to get to Manhattan in less than half an hour — and for $2.75 — beginning May 1 when the city launches the first boat in its promised borough-to-borough ferry service.
Mayor DeBlasio on Thursday unveiled a new name — NYC Ferry — and a new logo for city-subsidized boats, the first of which will shove from a pier in Queens and make a stop at a dock at the Brooklyn Army Terminal churning across New York Harbor to Pier 11 at the foot of Wall Street — a ride that should take just 16 minutes.
The city will expand the service on June 1 when the “South Brooklyn Route,” which will set sail from a new pier at the end of 69th Street in Bay Ridge and make stops at the Army Terminal, Red Hook, and Pier 1 and Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park before crossing the river to Wall Street. The estimated Bay Ridge-to-Wall Street travel time is 43 minutes, a bit shorter than a trek on the R train.
The new vessels will each carry 150 passengers, who will be able to pay their fare with smartphones, debit or credit cards, or cash. Wifi, snacks and beverages — including some with alcohol — will also be available.
The mayor seemed most proud that the ferries’ May 1 launch was happening “a full month ahead of schedule,” but Brooklyn politicians were more excited about the commuting convenience and potential economic benefits they think the service will bring.
“NYC Ferry has game-changing potential for Brooklyn and its fellow boroughs,” said Borough President Adams. “Addressing the challenges of transit-starved neighborhoods, while stimulating economic growth and quality of life enhancements from Bay Ridge to the Brooklyn Navy Yard are reasons for us to look forward to the start of service later this spring.”
Bay Ridge’s councilman agreed.
“Five borough ferry service will not only generate jobs but serve as a catalyst for expansion in communities where housing and employment are rising,” said the term-limited Vincent Gentile.
The $55 million NYC Ferry project was first introduced by DeBlasio and the city’s Economic Development Corporation back in February, 2015. All six of the service’s routes are scheduled to be sailing by 2018. Twenty ferry boats, serving 22 landings citywide, will carry an estimated 4.6 million passengers a year, the city claims.
Construction is now underway on a port at the Brooklyn Navy Yard — a 56,000-square-foot maintenance and storage facility that will include berthing space for 25 boats, supplies and parts, and utilities, including a 40,000-gallon diesel fueling system. The city says it will continue to add more docks until 2018, when the last of the Brooklyn’s piers opens somewhere between Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridge Park.