New East River Ferry Service in NYC Starts Today!

by , 06/13/11

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New York City’s public transportation system is one of the best in the country, if not the world, but the MTA is constantly looking for ways to make it even better and more efficient by adding new and improved elements — like water taxis. NYC officials have officially announced the start of the new East River Ferry service, which will transport commuters between East 34th Street and Pier 11 in Manhattan to Long Island City in Queens and to Greenpoint, Williamsburg and DUMBO in Brooklyn. The service officially launched this morning, with Mayor Bloomberg aboard the inaugural ride.

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Make sure you don’t miss out on riding the ferry this month. The service will be free of charge for all customers during the first two weeks, June 13 through June 24. Afterwards, the normal fare will cost $4 for a one-way ticket, $12 for an unlimited one day pass, and $140 for an unlimited monthly pass. The ferries will operate every half hour 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM on weekdays, and 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM on weekends.

“Our unparalleled urban waterways have contributed directly to the history and success of New York City,” said council Speaker Christine Quinn in a press release. “I am excited to see the new ferry service reconnecting New Yorkers and tourists alike to a new transportation option that invigorates and embraces a resource that truly makes our city great. By taking New Yorkers out of over-crowded trains and subways, this new service will change the way we move between the boroughs, reminding us that we can continue to grow and take advantage of all our city has to offer.”

The ferry service is not only expected to improve the city’s economy by adding a new source of revenue and job opportunities, but the city also expects the ferry to improve connection between the boroughs. This is especially helpful considering the fact that waterfront neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Long Island are rapidly expanding, and require a more convenient form of transportation for its residents.

This initiative is part of the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES), a citywide initiative launched by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn. The program proposes a blueprint for a more sustainable form of transportation using the City’s more than 500 miles of shoreline.

While the prices are a bit steep if you’re also buying a subway pass, we’re still really excited about the new system. The ferry not only offers a new, more interesting mode of transportation for all New Yorkers and tourists, but it also expands the city’s ever growing green initiative to find alternative and more environmentally friendly forms of transportation. Given the overcrowded subways and buses, the new plan will surely be a huge success and a much needed economic relief for the city.

+ East River Ferry



  1. LICdweller June 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm
    A shame they chose to position the LIC terminal in a desolate construction zone. I rode the first boat today and did not feel safe walking through abandoned lots at 6.40am. I will not use this service again. The photo accompanying this article the terimal implies that the pier is in a centrally located area...which if it were located here thousands of residents live within a block and would more readily use the service. A shame and poorly thought out. I questioned city officials about this and there are no plans to move the terminal because the owner of the route will not pay for it.
  2. milton June 13, 2011 at 6:17 am
    why not go up to East 96th street in Manhattan?
  3. lazyreader June 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm
    One thing New York could do is open the opportunity for private providers of ferry service. I'm not sure what degree of efficiency the ferries operate under. In Virginia we built the famed Chesapeake Bay bridge and tunnel to replace ferry service. From the early 1930s to 1954, Virginia Ferry Corporation, a privately-owned public service company managed a scheduled vehicular (car, bus, truck) and passenger ferry service between the Virginia Eastern Shore and Princess Anne County (now part of Virginia Beach) in the South Hampton Roads area. A private engineering firm could build and operate their own tunnel underneath the East River. In Paris, France a firm built a vehicular double decker tunnel under the city, turning a 45 minute commute into a 10 minute trip.