PHOTO: CitywideFerry.NYC is the official web portal for the first five-borough ferry service in nearly 100 years. Courtesy of NYCEDC
By Michael V. Cusenza
The city Economic Development Corporation, and Hornblower, the recently announced operator of the Citywide Ferry, this week launched CitywideFerry.NYC, the official web portal for the first five-borough ferry service in nearly 100 years.
During the construction and development phase of Citywide Ferry, according to NYCEDC, the website will feature project updates, upcoming public meetings, a live stream of boat construction, maps and schedules, along with information on applying for one of the over 150 local jobs the ferry is expected to create for New Yorkers.
Additionally, five New Yorkers who take a two-minute survey about Citywide Ferry through the website will automatically be entered to win one of five annual ferry passes once service commences next year. Winners of the annual passes will be announced as Citywide Ferry gets closer to launch with one entry per person.
“We’re moving full speed toward launch of Citywide Ferry Service next summer, and we need input from New Yorkers to make sure the new ferry system is the best it can possibly be,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “So go to CitywideFerry.NYC, take our survey, sign up for alerts, and you could win a free year’s worth of ferry rides.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his vision of a new ferry system that would “knit together existing East River routes with new landings and services to Astoria, the Rockaways, South Brooklyn, Soundview and the Lower East Side” during his State of the City address in February 2015. Backed by city operating support and a $55 million capital commitment, the project is considered on schedule, with the first three routes set to open in 2017.
“Beyond connecting residents to jobs in Manhattan, our new Citywide Ferry system will spur the development of new commercial corridors throughout the outer boroughs,” de Blasio said last year.
The service will consist of five new ferry routes in addition to the existing East River Ferry, charging a fare of $2.75, according to the EDC. When Citywide Ferry is fully operational in 2018, the six routes will carry an estimated 4.6 million trips per year. EDC is leading the project by building 10 new ferry landings and renovating six others.