Press Releases

Council Speaker Quinn And NYCEDC President Pinsky Announce New Details Of East River Ferry Service


Launch Scheduled for June 13, First Twelve Days of Service Free of Charge for All Riders

Groundbreaking New Service Will Provide Essential Transportation Alternative and Ease Travel between Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan

Today, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Seth Pinsky, New York City Council Members Stephen Levin and Jimmy Van Bramer, and NY Waterway announced new details of the East River Ferry Service, which will transport commuters and tourists between Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. The ferry will provide year-round service between East 34th Street and Pier 11 in Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens, Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg, and DUMBO in Brooklyn, and seasonally to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and Governor’s Island.

The ferry service is launching June 13, 2011 and will be free of charge for all customers through June 24, 2011. The service will cost $4 for a one-way ticket, $12 for an unlimited hop-on, hop-off day pass, and $140 for an unlimited monthly pass. Ferries will operate every half hour, or every 20 minutes during rush hour, year round, from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM on weekdays, and 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM on weekends.

“Our unparalleled urban waterways have contributed directly to the history and success of New York City,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “I am excited to see the new ferry service reconnecting New Yorkers and tourists alike to a new transportation option that invigorates and embraces a resource that truly makes our city great. By taking New Yorkers out of over-crowded trains and subways, this new service will change the way we move between the boroughs, reminding us that we can continue to grow and take advantage of all our city has to offer.”

“New York’s economy continues to add jobs, making it more important than ever that we continue to provide more commuting options,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. “A critical component of Mayor Bloomberg’s waterfront agenda, this new ferry service will connect the East Side of Manhattan with rapidly-growing neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn like Long Island City, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and DUMBO, making it easier for thousands more New Yorkers to move throughout the City every day.”

“June 13 will be a great day for those who live, work and play along the East River, bringing a more sustainable transportation option to [hundreds of thousands per year] in the form of a new, affordable ferry service. This service delivers on the promise of Mayor Bloomberg’s WAVES initiative, serving as another catalyst for economic development along the East River,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky.

“We are thrilled to be bringing this exciting and much needed new transportation option to New York City,” said Paul Goodman, President of BillyBey Ferry Co., which operates the ferries, said. “Ferry travel is not only going to benefit commuters from Brooklyn and Queens who want to escape their subway or car commute, but also tourists and New Yorkers who want to see what the other boroughs have to offer. We are hopeful this service will be enjoyed for years to come.”

"Long before the subway system connected the five boroughs, ferry service proved to be an efficient and convenient means of transportation throughout the city,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “I applaud the leadership of Deputy Mayor Steel and Speaker Quinn to ensure that North Brooklyn commuters once again have a reliable alternative to the G train. As a Greenpoint resident, I personally look forward to utilizing the ferry service often."

“In an increasingly congested city, we need reliable alternatives to get people to and from work. Ferry service is an option we must expand,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “Ferry service will improve connections between the five boroughs, helping ease traffic congestion and provide long-term economic support for the City of New York. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on creating transportation alternatives for our communities.”

“The implementation of ferry service is a giant step towards our effort to reconnect New Yorkers to the waterfront,” said Council Member Michael Nelson, Chair of the City Council Waterfronts Committee. “With the ongoing service cuts to the city’s subways and buses, this new ferry service will give commuters an alternative option of getting to and from work while familiarizing tourists and city residents with the wonders New York has to offer outside of Manhattan.”

"We're eager to see new transportation options open up, and to use our waterways to bring the boroughs together," said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "A viable commuter ferry is a prominent part of our vision for the city's future, and this is an important step towards making it a reality."

"The City's many new East River waterfront communities will greatly benefit from this new frequent ferry service between Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan,” said City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden. “For commuters, residents and visitors, a robust waterborne transit service will blur the boundaries between our boroughs as never before. The City's new Comprehensive Waterfront Plan made the expanded use of our waterways a primary recommendation, and it is gratifying to witness its launch so early after release of the plan.”

“Ferries are a natural fit for our city of islands. This expanded ferry service will be an important resource for commuters in some of New York’s fastest-growing communities,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “Ferry service is environmentally-friendly, relieves congestion on our subways and roads, and provides increased access to our waterfront. I congratulate Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg for their leadership in delivering these much-needed improvements to our transportation network.”

“The East River Ferry Service is the next great concept for improving New York’s mass-transit and transportation systems,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “Harnessing New York’s rivers and embracing a proud local maritime tradition will usher New Yorkers into a more urbane, interconnected, and environmentally clean 21st century. I am proud to have helped secure $3.6 million toward this project, and I commend Speaker Quinn and the City for making it happen.”

“Bravo to Mayor Bloomberg and his staff, Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, Speaker Christine Quinn and the Council, the EDC and everyone who played a role in bringing expanded ferry service from NY Waterway to Brooklyn and the outer boroughs of Manhattan and Queens,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “With stops in our flourishing neighborhoods of Greenpoint, North and South Williamsburg, DUMBO and Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue in the summer, Brooklyn is ‘ferry’ excited to welcome this new service, which is certain to bring economic development and tourism to our bustling waterfront.”

“Increased ferry service among the boroughs is the wave of the future,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “While encouraging daily commuters to use mass transit, we cannot expect more passengers to fit on overcrowded trains and buses. Long Island City has experienced a dramatic growth in housing in the past 20 years without a concurrent growth in transportation alternatives. The ferry service to Long Island City, in particular, is a very welcome, much needed and very appealing resource. My hope is that the success of these ferries will result in even greater use of our waterways as an option for travel. I thank NY Waterway and all our partners in government for today’s welcome announcement.”

“Employing the blue highways that surround us to move people for work and for fun makes good common sense,” said Roland Lewis, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. “More people on boats will ease congestion on our roads and rails. The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance applauds the new East River service and will work with its 544 alliance partners and with the City of New York to make it a success.”

This initiative is part of the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES), a citywide initiative launched by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn, which created a new sustainable blueprint for the City's more than 500 miles of shoreline.

Additional information can be found at www.nywaterway.com.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

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Contact Info

Nicole Kolinsky
City Council
(212) 788-0260


Andrew Brent
Mayor's Office
(212) 788-2654


Julie Halpin
NY Waterway
(212) 691-2800