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Photo: Facebook/NYC Ferry

Two routes for the new NYC Ferry, including one docked in the Rockaways, officially launched Monday morning a  month ahead of schedule, opening up the city’s waterways to ease commutes throughout the city.

“For the first time in generations, our amazing New York Harbor is part of our city’s critical public transportation system – and for the price of a subway ride you can get to work and also explore New York City’s beautiful coastal communities much more directly,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The Rockaway Route officially launched at 5:30 a.m. on May 1 after de Blasio participated in a ceremonial first ride from the Rockaways to Manhattan on Sunday, April 30. The route offers service between Beach 108th Street, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and Wall Street’s Pier 11. The East River Route also launched on Monday at 6:30, offering service between East 34th Street in Manhattan; Hunters Point South in Long Island City; Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg and DUMBO in Brooklyn; Governors Island (in the summers only) and Wall Street’s Pier 11.

“This ferry is exactly what we’ve needed to give Rockaway residents something approaching a normal commute,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, who was on the inaugural trip with State Senator Joseph Addabbo.  “To get that commute in speed and style, a month early? We’re over the moon.  We’re glad the city is finally connecting South Queens to the rest of NYC in a workable way.  This is a great day and it was so great to take the first ride with my neighbors!”

The third route, which will be based in South Brooklyn, is set to begin service on June 1. A ferry coming from Astoria is scheduled to launch service in August, with the last two lines, the Lower East Side and Soundview routes, starting service in 2018.

Single fare rides cost $2.75, the same as the cost of a single subway ride. A 30-day unlimited ferry ride pass will be available for $121, just like a 30-day MetroCard.

“This day has been a long time coming,” Addabbo said. “At long last, Rockaway has its ferry. The introduction of the new Citywide Ferry Service will give residents and commuters improved, credible transit options, taking them to-and-from Rockaway Beach, Brooklyn Army Terminal and Wall Street/Pier 11.”

Ferry riders can download the brand new NYC Ferry App to purchase e-tickets, get details about maps and schedules and receive real-time notifications and service alerts.

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