NYCEDC's blog

All Aboard! The Numbers Behind NYC Ferry


Launching Monday, May 1, NYC Ferry will fundamentally change how the people of our city move.

The new ferry service connects over half a million New Yorkers from Soundview in the Bronx to Rockaway, Queens to where they need to go citywide. This connectivity expands economic opportunity by creating new networks between job-dense neighborhoods, such as Midtown, Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City, as well as industrial areas like Sunset Park, and residential communities that have long been transit deserts, such as Astoria and Red Hook. NYC Ferry also cuts down on commute times and improves access to comforts like Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island. Ferries will provide critical alternatives during transit system disruptions, making the City’s entire transportation infrastructure even more resilient.

 The density and diversity of jobs along the East River corridor is a big part of makes NYC Ferry central to building a stronger and more equitable economy. In total, about 284,800 workers are currently employed within a half mile of ferry landings. As you might imagine, the majority of these jobs—about three-quarters—are located near the ferry landings in Manhattan. These are primarily in office-based industries, such as finance and professional services. The ferry landings in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx support an even greater diversity of industries, including 23,200 workers in industrial sectors. Landing areas in these boroughs also employ relatively large numbers of workers in the arts, entertainment, and retail industries, underscoring the cultural vibrancy of those waterfront neighborhoods.

Similar patterns are apparent among the residents of neighborhoods in the NYC Ferry corridor, with Manhattan leading the other boroughs in density. Of the 328,000 people living near an NYC Ferry landing, just over half live in Manhattan. While other landing areas tend to have less dense populations, they often serve New Yorkers with lower incomes and longer commutes – historical disparities that NYC Ferry will help to address.

 In the ferry corridor neighborhoods with the lowest average earnings, including Astoria, Red Hook, Soundview, and Rockaway, more than 40% of residents spend more than 45 minutes getting to work. Conversely, high-income neighborhoods, such as Midtown Manhattan, Lower Manhattan, and Long Island City, see about 40% of residents going to work in fewer than 30 minutes. Linking these often-disconnected neighborhoods is a primary goal of NYC Ferry, and expanding connectivity between the density, diversity, and amenities of the City’s waterfront neighborhoods will ultimately make us a more vibrant, more accessible city.

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