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NYC Ferry’s Soundview, Lower East Side routes will launch this month

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The routes will bring ferry access to the Bronx and Manhattan’s east side

Max Touhey

The Soundview and Lower East Side ferry routes will launch this month, expanding NYC Ferry’s reach into the Bronx and creating more transit options on Manhattan’s hard-to-access east side.

The Soundview route will open for business on Wednesday, August 15 with stops at the new landings in Soundview’s Clason Point Park and East 90th Street, as well as the existing landings at East 34th Street and Wall Street/Pier 11. The route will take about 54 minutes from start to finish.

The Lower East Side route will premiere shortly after on Wednesday, August 29 with stops at Wall Street/Pier 11, Corlears Hook, Stuyvesant Cove, East 34th Street, and Long Island City. The route will take about 32 minutes from start to finish.

The ferry, which offers free connections and costs the same as a subway swipe at $2.75, has bucked ridership expectations from the get-go. More than 3 million riders took trips on the system’s four operational routes in 2017, exceeding ridership projections by 34 percent (or 800,000 people.) New projections by the city put NYC Ferry’s ridership at 9 million by 2023.

In response, the city commissioned six higher-capacity boats that hold up to 350 passengers each. The first of those boats, dubbed The Ocean Queen Rockstar, went into circulation on July 21. The city’s second 350-passenger vessel is set to arrive at the Brooklyn Navy Yard later this month.