Ten barges to support landings for the New York citywide public ferry system are being fabricated by Skansa at the May Ship Repair Contracting Corp. yard on Staten Island, as partners Hornblower New York and the city prepare for the system’s 2017 launch.
The city has pledged $55 million for landings and other infrastructure upgrades, and $30 million a year to subsidize the $2.75 one-way fares. For shipbuilders, future contracts lie in Hornblower’s promise to ultimately construct 18 new catamaran fast ferries capable of carrying at least 149 passengers each.
The 90’x35’ landings barges, designed by the McLaren Engineering Group, will allow passengers to queue while waiting to board ferries, while sheltering them with canopies and wind screens, according to EDC officials. The barges also have room for waiting areas and ticketing machines – part of the design plan so new landings can be installed with minimum requirements for site work and other upland impact.
Marine engineers are designing each landing for site-specific conditions, and the plans are under final review by the city Public Design Board.
In its first phase of the new system, six routes are anticipated to carry about 4.6 million passenger trips annually, for the goal of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration of providing new transit between Manhattan and borough neighborhoods near the water. The new service “will fully integrate the East River Ferry, resulting in lower fares for its 4,000 daily riders,” according to the EDC.