City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Seth Pinsky were joined by elected officials whose districts are served by the ferry to greet morning commuters.
It was the six-month anniversary of the East River Ferry, and to celebrate commuters were treated to a flash free day for all riders and free morning coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company aboard the boat.
Nearly 500,000 paying passengers have taken advantage of this new three-year transportation pilot program in just six months of service, far exceeding the projected annual 409,000 paid ridership.
They were also joined by Congress Members Carolyn B. Maloney and Nydia M. Velázquez, Borough Presidents Marty Markowitz and Helen Marshall, and Council Member James Vacca.
"The fact that East River Ferry ridership is shattering projections in only six months is proof that commuters and tourists alike are discovering both the beauty and convenience of traveling borough to borough on the East River by ferry," said Quinn.
The East River Ferry Service provides increased access to the waterfront and additional transportation options in underserved areas along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront, giving them a connection to each other and two key business districts in Manhattan.
These recently rezoned neighborhoods feature new large-scale, high-density residential developments at the water’s edge, with over 6,000 units completed in the past 3 years, 2,000 more units under construction, and another 21,000 units planned.
The mass transportation option makes these emerging waterfront locations more desirable, triggering more economic development for New York City.
“The East River Ferry is not only transforming how hundreds of thousands of commuters commute in, visitors sightsee in, and residents explore our city, it is also transforming our waterfront and generating economic activity,” said Pinsky.
Ferry service was launched on June 13 to provide year-round ferry service between East 34th Street and Pier 11 in Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens, Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg, and DUMBO in Brooklyn, and seasonally to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and Governor’s Island.
The service costs riders $4 for a one-way ticket, $12 for an unlimited all-day pass, and $140 for an unlimited monthly pass. Ferries accommodate bikes on board for an additional dollar.