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NYC’s new Rockaway ferries will launch ahead of schedule

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The inaugural boat rolled into New Jersey’s Liberty Landing on Sunday

Are you sitting down? According to DNAInfo, the much-anticipated Rockaway ferry will launch service at 5:30 am on May 1 — a full month ahead of schedule.

Running from a new dock on Beach 108th Street to Brooklyn Army Terminal and then on to Pier 11 at Wall Street, the Rockaway route will be the first of the new NYC Ferry routes to hit the water. (Tipped off by The Wave, DNAInfo also reports the nautical project has gotten a minor name change; it’s NYC Ferry now, not Citywide Ferry.)

As DNAInfo notes, the Rockaway boat—which rolled into New Jersey’s Liberty Landing on Sunday—is designed a bit differently than the boats that the rest of the fleet, since it’ll be handling choppier waters than the ferries covering the Astoria and South Brooklyn lines. Both of those routes are set to launch in “Summer 2017,” per the Ferry website, with Lower East Side and Soundview service launching the following summer, in 2018.

In addition to the Rockaway boat, the city will also run free shuttle busses between Beach 35th and Beach 169th Street to make it easier for passengers get to the launching dock. Fare for the ferry will be $2.75—the same as a single-ride MTA fare—but alas, riders will not get free transfers to MTA buses or subways.

Meanwhile, the city’s second-graders have been hard at work brainstorming names for the boats, which will be announced in the coming weeks, DNAInfo says. Current contenders include “Friendship Express” and “Lunchbox,” which admittedly has a certain ring to it. (Though it’s no Boaty McBoatface.)

UPDATE: 4/7/17—In addition to the Rockaway route, the South Brooklyn route and the Astoria route will get underway on June 1st, and sometime in August respectively. The South Brooklyn route will have stops in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park Piers 1 & 6, and Wall Street, and an optional link to Governors Island. The Astoria route will connect to Astoria, Roosevelt Island (Cornell Tech), Long Island City, East 34th Street and Wall Street.