FEBRUARY 5, 2015 — In his State of the City Address this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a major expansion of ferry routes serving the city.
Here's what he said:
"Today, we announce that we’re launching a new citywide ferry service to be open for business in 2017. New ferry rides will be priced the same as a MetroCard fare, so ferries will be as affordable to everyday New Yorkers as our subways and buses. …. so residents of the Rockaways and Red Hook and Soundview will now be closer to the opportunities they need.
"And beyond connecting residents to jobs in Manhattan, our new citywide ferry system will spur the development of new commercial corridors throughout the outer boroughs."
Though his remarks were short on details, the Mayor's office has subsequently released the maps shown below.
The New York Times reports that officials say the city will immediately start the processes for choosing design, construction and ferry operators.
The city projects that 4.6 million trips would be taken each year on the ferries, which would be run by private operators, says The Times, noting that, on the average weekday, more than five million subway trips are taken.
According to the report, the administration says it has committed $55 million in capital funds to the project, and anticipates an operating subsidy of $10 million to $20 million a year.
The figures did not include a possible future route serving Coney Island and Stapleton, Staten Island.
Today's Brian Lehrer show on public radio station WNYC discussed the Mayor's plan in some detail. You can listen to it here.