Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that first route in New York's eagerly-awaited ferry system will be launching on May 1, which is one month ahead of its initial scheduled date. The announcement also noted that the system will be donning a new name. Rather than the Citywide Ferry Service, the network will be named "NYC Ferry," which rolls off the tongue a bit easier. The city even put together a cute new video that features the ferry's new logo and projected opening dates for each of the system's routes (give it a watch below).
The new Rockaway route will be the first to debut, and it will join the already existing East River route. Tickets on the ferry system will cost the same as a subway ride ($2.75), and transfers between each route will be free.
Two more ferry routes will also open up later this year. The South Brooklyn route will open on June 1, making stops in Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Red Hook and Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Astoria route will open in August, and will connect the Queens neighborhood to Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, East 34th Street and Wall Street (the exact launch date is still being determined).
Two more routes out of the Lower East Side and Soundview will launch in 2018, completing the system.
The service will include 20 new ferry boats operating at 22 landings across the city. The boats were built in shipyards in Alabama and Louisiana, and have already started arriving in New York Harbor. New York City public school students are voting on the names for the boats, so that's fun.
In all, the city estimates that the ferry system will carry 4.6 million trips annually once all six routes are up and running. It's a drop in the bucket in terms of the total number of commutes taken by New Yorkers each year, but new travel options should bring a smile to any Brooklynite's face who's desperately looking for a transit alternative before the L train shuts down.