As the new Citywide Ferry Service comes closer to being implemented, more details are emerging about what the ferries will look like and what amenities they will feature.
On Thursday, the Mayor’s Office released renderings of the vessels that will hit the East River beginning in 2017. Each boat will have room for 149 passengers and will be 26 meters long, 4 meters longer than the current vessels in use, giving passengers additional room.
The ferries will also feature free Wi-Fi, heated decks, charging stations, concessions and space for bicycles, strollers and wheelchairs. Each vessel will be ADA accessible and compliant.
“The greatest city in the world deserves the greatest ferry system in the world,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “That’s exactly what New Yorkers are getting with these modern, efficient boats that come with Wi-Fi, charging stations and plenty of space to move around comfortably. Most importantly, when we launch Citywide Ferry next summer, we will be connecting New Yorkers in transit-starved neighborhoods with good jobs and opportunities all over the city,”
The ferries will be mostly built out of lightweight aluminum, which will increase fuel efficiency. The equivalent of more than 77 million cans of aluminum will be used to build the fleet of 19 vessels. T3 engines will also be used to reduce emission and noise.
Phase one of Citywide Ferry Service is expected to launch next summer with the Astoria, South Brooklyn and Rockaway routes completed first. The Soundview and Lower Eastside routes will be finished in 2018.
Each trip will cost the equivalent of a MetroCard – $2.75; the East River Ferry will be integrated into the new service, which means that the price will be dropped from $4.
Cameron Clark, vice president and general manager of Hornblower, the company that will operate the ferries, said the company is working with leading designers and maritime experts “to deliver a 21st-century ferry product.”
“The overall concept of these new vessels reflects our desire to deliver a system that builds on our strong record of environmental efficiency, sustainability and resiliency,” Clark said.
The city also recently launched a new website for the ferry service with updates and a survey contest that will give five New Yorkers a chance to win one annual Citywide Ferry pass when service starts next summer.