East River ferry service kicks off
by Daniel Bush
Jun 07, 2011 | 3265 views | 0 0 comments | 78 78 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Officials announced the ferry service, which will offer free rides through June 24.
Officials announced the ferry service, which will offer free rides through June 24.
A new commuting service could make the East River ferry busy this summer.

The city launched a ferry service that will shuttle commuters between Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, realizing a project that has been several years in the making.

The ferries will run between East 34th Street and Pier 11 in Manhattan, Long Island City and locations in Greenpoint, North and South Williamsburg and Dumbo.

They'll also make seasonal stops at Atlantic Avenue and Governor's Island.

Officials said the long-anticipated ferry service will ease overcrowding on subways while providing a sustainable form of mass transit on the city's under-used waterways.

“By taking New Yorkers out of over-crowded trains and subways, this new service will change the way we move between the boroughs,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

The system will launch June 13 and offer passengers 12 days of free service.

After that, regular prices of $4 for a one-way ticket, $12 for an unlimited day pass and $140 for an unlimited monthly pass will kick in. The NY Waterway-run service is being funded with a $3 million annual subsidy from the New York Economic Development Corporation.

Ferries will operate year-round - between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on weekends - and run every half-hour, including every 20 minutes during rush hour.

They'll make stops at Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, Schaefer Landing and N. 6th Street in Williamsburg and India Street in Greenpoint.

The Long Island City station will be located at Hunter's Point South.

“We need reliable alternatives to get people to and from work,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “Ferry service will improve connections between the five boroughs.”

It comes as welcome news for transportation and waterfront advocates, who watched as an earlier plan to expand the tourist-oriented New York Water Taxi company into a city-funded mass transit service was left by the wayside.

“Employing the blue highways that surround us to move people for work and for fun makes good common sense,” said Roland Lewis, of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, and advocacy group.

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