September 26, 2016
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – Construction has begun on 19 vessels that will service New York City’s first citywide ferry system. Over 200 full-time builders in two shipyards are working on the project.
“We are moving full steam ahead and bringing modern ferry boats, outfitted with the latest technology and safety features, to our waterways. This new fleet will help us connect commuters and visitors alike to neighborhoods throughout the city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Ferries are primarily built out of aluminum, which 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 are designed to reduce emissions and the innovative hull maximizes fuel efficiency. Wi-Fi is available throughout the vessel decks are ships are heated during the cold winter months. Ships will have a capacity for 150 passengers along with space for bikes, strollers and wheelchairs. The first set of vessels are expected to arrive in New York City in early 2017.
“With vessel construction now fully underway, we’re one step closer to bringing fast, affordable ferry service to neighborhoods across the city,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “We can’t wait for New Yorkers to see these modern and efficient boats, which will arrive in New York Harbor starting early next year.”
The Citywide Ferry Service will carry an estimated 4.6 million passenger trips per year across six routes, providing new transportation to communities where housing and jobs are growing rapidly. The East River Ferry will also be fully integrated into Citywide Ferry, which will reduce the cost of that service from $4 to the same cost as a subway ride. The 19 vessels will be operating at 21 landings throughout New York City, providing an affordable transit option for people in underserved communities and connecting New Yorkers with the city’s hundreds of miles of waterfront. Phase one of Citywide Ferry Service, which includes the use of 12 vessels, is scheduled to launch in summer 2017.