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Good news for folks in South Brooklyn and Astoria: NYC's ferry service is set to expand next month and begin stopping in several neighborhoods along the East River for the first time, Thrillist reports.
The new NYC Ferry system, devised by the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the mayor's office, will add to the existing East River Ferry service, which currently travels between the Financial District, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Long Island City seven days a week.
Starting May 1, the NYC Ferry will begin making stops in Astoria; from there, the boats will travel to Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, East 34th Street, and Wall Street; total travel time along the whole route will be 43 minutes, and one trip will cost $2.75. (East River Ferry rides cost $4.)
Next month will also see the launch of the Rockaway route, with ferries traveling from the Queens beach community to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and then on to Wall Street, a journey that will take about an hour--welcome news for the summer, as the neighborhood is growing ever more popular. Previously, New Yorkers who live elsewhere faced a bit of a schlep via trains or buses (or a $20 beach ferry), so traveling via boat for the cost of a subway ride seems like a comparatively idyllic way to reach the beach.
Beginning in June, the NYC Ferry will take on additional routes to and from South Brooklyn, traveling between Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and then on to Wall Street; the whole trip takes 43 minutes.
According to the EDC, the new ferry system will be fully up and running by next year, when two final routes are added: One will connect Soundview in the Bronx to stops on the Upper East Side and then to Wall Street, and the other will link the Lower East Side to Midtown and to Rockaway.
This seems like a major transit coup, especially for New Yorkers living in neighborhoods lacking in subway service, like Red Hook and the waterfront part of Astoria. But some locals feel left out: Gothamist spoke to Coney Islanders who feel overlooked by the city, which had previously considered a stop in the Brooklyn neighborhood but then decided against it.
The EDC conducted a study in 2013 to identify spots for new ferry landings, and ultimately selected the parts of Brooklyn and Queens expected to generate high ridership and lower operating costs. However, the organization says it hasn't necessarily ruled out Coney Island for good, and is considering potential locations for additional ferry service in the years to come.
In the meantime, the new boats are on their way to New York, CNBC reports, from shipyards in Alabama and Louisiana, scheduled to arrive just as warm weather reaches the city.
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