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Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
The NYC Ferry Service's Lower East Side route launches on Aug. 29.

The final New York City Ferry Service route of 2018 launched on Wednesday with the promise of bringing riders from Long Island City to the Lower East Side in just 32 minutes.

Hornblower, which operates the ferry service, partnered with Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYCEDC to launch the LIC route that will serve an estimated 1 million riders annually. Earlier this month, Hornblower launched the Soundview ferry route, which makes stops in the Bronx and the Upper East Side and serves approximately 4,000 riders a day. It is projected that the Soundview route will serve 400,000 commuters a year.

On the newest ferry route, commuters start their ride in LIC and can travel to four stops along the East River for the same cost as a Metro Card. Ferries run every 25 minutes during peak hours and makes stops at East 34th Street, Stuyvesant Cove, Corlears Hook and Pier 11/Wall Street. Free transfers to other ferry routes are available at the East 34th Street and Pier 11/Wall Street terminals and a detailed timetable of all ferry routes can be found here.

“It’s official – the initial six routes of NYC Ferry system are now up and running,” said de Blasio. “NYC Ferries have turned the East River, which once divided New Yorkers, into a point of connection – and are helping us build a fairer city for all. With the launch of the Lower East Side route and the connecting NYC Ferry lines, residents of this historic neighborhood now have greater access to the rest of our city.”

Since the NYC Ferry Service’s May 2017 launch, it has served over 6 million riders across the Astoria, East River, South Brooklyn, Rockaway and Soundview routes. The ferry service reported that it recently surpassed 3 million riders in the 2018 calendar year. Additionally, the ferry service has been able to connect communities with fewer transportation options to one another, as well as making commute times shorter.

“Today’s historic launch delivers on our promise to make New York a fairer, more connected city for everyone,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “The Lower East Side route is the last NYC Ferry line to launch in 2018, and the start of shorter commutes and more opportunities for New Yorkers across the city. We are proud to have delivered a transit system to dozens of communities that have long been underserved, and look forward to exploring ways to expand the network.”

In July the Ocean Queen Rockstar, the first of the NYC Ferry’s six 350-passenger vessels, joined the team to accommodate for high ridership demand. A second vessel called Seas the Day is currently in service and four more 350-passenger vessels are slated to arrive for peak season in 2019.

For more information on the new and existing routes, visit ferry.nyc.

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