The NYC Ferry public system will expand to all five New York City boroughs in 2020, including a new cross-harbor route from Staten Island, service to Coney Island and additional stops on existing routes.

The Staten Island route will be a 35-minute run from St. George on the island’s northeast to Manhattan’s Battery Park City/Vesey Street landing, and then ending at the Midtown 39th Street landing. Despite the city’s iconic Staten Island Ferry, the distant borough has few public transit options.

“St. George is seeing unprecedented development and adding service will help to alleviate future strain on the Staten Island Ferry which already sees significant ridership. We welcome today’s announcement and hope to see  fast ferry services expand even further into the Island in the future, eventually connecting us to boroughs beyond Manhattan,” said Linda Baran, president and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, in a joint statement issued by city officials Monday.

The NYC Ferry system will be serving all five New York City boroughs in 2020. NYEDC image.

The NYC Ferry system will be serving all five New York City boroughs in 2020. NYEDC image.

The ferry service operated by Hornblower is a marquee project for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who pitched the $2.75 service as a way to bring more transit options to historically underserved parts of the city.

Like Staten Island, Coney Island on Brooklyn’s south shore will get its own ferry route in 2021, linking it to the Pier 11/Wall Street landing in lower Manhattan.

Other additions will include extending the Soundview route to Throggs Neck in the Bronx, and modifications to the South Brooklyn and Astoria routes.

Since launching in May 2016 the NYC Ferry system has carried nearly eight million riders. With the additional routes and new landings now planned, the city Economic Development Corporation forecasts ridership could reach 11 million annually by 2023.

The de Blasio administration plans to spend $300 million on the ferry service over the next five years, including larger capacity vessels, a second homeport facility, and improvements to the two main ferry terminals at Wall Street and East 34th Street in Manhattan.

Last summer Metal Shark delivered the first of six 350-passengers vessels built at its Franklin, La., facility to serve growing demand. City officials say they will spend an additional $100 million in capital to add fleet capacity, build new landings, and invest in existing landings to support the system’s expansion.


Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.