Courtesy of NYCEDC
The first Citywide Ferry landing is being installed at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Construction on the first new Citywide Ferry Service landing officially began on Wednesday morning at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway Park.
Incoming City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett was on hand and even marked the momentous occasion by putting his John Hancock on a steel pile that will become part of the port.
Community Board 14 Transportation Committee Co-Chairman Danny Ruscillo called the event “a pleasure and a joyous day,” and noted that residents of the peninsula are looking forward to another first: the inaugural CFS voyage this summer.
“We’re all excited and anxiously awaiting [CFS operator] Hornblower’s arrival for the start of our Ferry Service,” Ruscillo said.
The Rockaway, Astoria, and south Brooklyn routes are scheduled to launch this year, with the Rockaway route set to connect to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Wall Street.
In November, officials from Hornblower and the EDC announced the completion of the first of 19 Citywide Ferry vessels.
Features and specs of the ships include:
- Capacity for 150 passengers along with space for bikes, strollers and wheelchairs.
- ADA Local Law 68/2005 accessibility and compliance.
- Boats are 85 feet long, offering passengers more space than more traditional ferries.
- Ferries are primarily built out of aluminum, which, according to the EDC, is safe, light weight and increases fuel efficiency. The fleet of 19 vessels will be built with the equivalent of over 77 million cans of aluminum.
- Use of ultra-efficient engines to reduce emissions.
- Innovative hull design to limit wake and maximize fuel efficiency.
- Wi-Fi available throughout the vessel.
- Heated decks that increase each vessel’s resiliency and durability, especially during the cold, snowy winter months.
With 19 vessels operating at 21 landings across four boroughs, Citywide Ferry will carry an estimated 4.6 million trips per year on six routes – providing, according to EDC, a transit option for traditionally underserved communities and where job and housing are growing rapidly. The existing East River Ferry will be fully integrated into Citywide Ferry, EDC noted, which will reduce the cost of that service to $2.75 from $4, the same cost of a subway ride.