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Into the Sunset! Southern Brooklyn residents to get new ferry to Manhattan on May 1

Berth of a nation: A rendering of the ferry's Atlantic Basin dock.
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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.

Reach James Harney at (718) 260-2529 or e-mail him at jharney@cnglocal.com.
Updated 2:12 pm, April 28, 2017
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Reasonable discourse

Michael from Bay Ridge says:
It sounds fun, and the stops along the way might be interesting, but there is no way this will be faster than taking the train. I think there should be more ferry service, and I will take it for fun. However, 43 minutes to Wall Street, and that is only after you have gotten to the end of the pier on 69th and the boat has arrived is not faster than the train at all. I can get to Wall Street door to door in under 43 minutes from Bay Ridge now.
April 7, 2017, 8:32 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
I hope the frequency is better than one per hour
April 7, 2017, 9:09 am
Captain Peachfuzz from The Rockyways says:
Michael is correct, the added stops make this impracticable for commuters. I would think the Rockaways route should stop only at Bay Ridge and then the Army terminal and then straight over to Wall Street.

I suspect our unlimited passes will not work on the ferries similar to express buses.

But, yes a few times a year in nice weather for fun.
April 7, 2017, 9:30 am
Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from BS, BK, NY, US says:
It's a wait-and-see approach: let' see that there are enough riders for the NYC Ferry Service to cover the operating costs. I am cautiously optimistic about this because it is another much needed public transportation option for all transit desert neighborhoods, especially along the waterfront.
April 7, 2017, 10:42 am
Warren W from Park Slope Y says:
do people still need those noisy subways?
April 7, 2017, 11:35 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon my saying so, but someone has to:
The Ferrymen and Women should allow fishing on these boats, in order to pass the time in a more constructive way. Alcohol is not always the answer. Please enjoy the rest of your day and I'm sorry if I seem out of line - nobody wants trouble, especially on a Friday afternoon like this.
John Wasserman
April 7, 2017, 2:01 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Why does this ferry need a new dock to be built when there is probably one that is already there for them to use?
April 7, 2017, 5:20 pm
Gene Saadi from Bay Ridge says:
Wow, the Staten Island Ferry used to be 5 cents. That was a bargain!
April 8, 2017, 12:44 pm
Dmitry Yeliosof from Bay Ridge says:
This would benefit those living around Shore Rd / Narrows Rd. For those living above Colonial, Express Bus is a better option (Can't speak for subway as the station is closed now)
May 5, 2017, 10:24 am

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