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A much-needed new ferry route is launching in Astoria next week

By Clayton Guse
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Since launching on May 1, the new NYC Ferry service has been quietly successful. Sure, it hasn't become a viable transit alternative for the vast majority of commuters in the city, but the ferries have made traversing New York's waterways more affordable and pretty damn delightful—a ticket costs just $2.75, and each of the new boats is outfitted with a bar that serves beer and wine. 

Next week, the service will launch a new route that connects Astoria, Queens, to Wall Street in a cool 47 minutes, with stops at Roosevelt Island, Long Island City and East 34th Street in between. The new line, which will debut on Tuesday, August 29, is the fourth on the service, joining the Rockaway, South Brooklyn and East River routes. Next summer, two more routes will be added, operating out of the Lower East Side and Soundview in the Bronx. 

Unlike New York's subways and buses, the NYC Ferry is not under the umbrella of the MTA. It's operated by the city instead, and Mayor Bill de Blasio has been one of its biggest cheerleaders. In July, he held a press event to celebrate the service's one millionth rider since launching. That's less than one-fifth of the subway's daily ridership, but it's still a major transit win for a mayor who's constantly catching flack about the subway and the MTA, an authority over which he has no control. 

The launch of the route comes in the middle of a series of weekend subway closures on the N train between Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard and Queensboro Plaza, so if you were planning on heading to Astoria over Labor Day weekend, the ferry might be your best bet. 

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