Construction work on the 19 vessels that will make up New York City’s first citywide ferry system has officially begun, announced Mayor Bill de Blasio along with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and ferry operator Hornblower.
The 85-foot long boats are being constructed in two shipyards, one in Louisiana and the other in Alabama, and will have the capacity to accommodate 150 passengers with storage space for bikes, strollers, and wheelchairs once complete. Roughly 200 full-time employees are working to get the ships materialized in time for their anticipated early 2017 debut.
"This new fleet will help us connect commuters and visitors alike to neighborhoods throughout the city," Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. Neighborhoods like Bay Ridge, Soundview, Astoria, and Rockaway will be directly connected to Wall Street and some parts of Midtown. NYCEDC will soon begin installing the 21 ferry landings across the city.
Citywide Ferry Service is estimating that the vessels will carry an estimated 4.6 million passenger trips per year between its six routes. Fares will mirror that of the MTA–for now, that means it will be $2.75 a ride.
The first set of vessels are expected to arrive in New York City in early 2017.