Bigger, Better Ferry

New Yorkers have spoken. We’re going to need bigger boats.
— Mayor de Blasio

As of last week, the NYC Ferry has been in service for a full year. Soon after, they announced some exciting news. On Thursday, May 3, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the expected ridership could reach nine million yearly passengers, doubling the initial projection for the service. Due to these exponential numbers, the city is going to spend $300 million on the system over the next five years to make expansive improvements, many of which will begin starting this summer.

“New Yorkers have spoken. We’re going to need bigger boats,” Mayor de Blasio said. “We’re gearing up to meet the extraordinary demand for more public transit on our waterways.”

Changes coming to the ferry service include:

  • Expanding the ferry fleet by almost doubling the number of boats
  • Creating a second homeport facility to house the additional boats Infrastructure improvements
  • Upgrades to NYC Ferry landings to accommodate large crowds
  • Improvements to the main ferry terminals at Pier 11/Wall Street and East 34th Street

In Rockaway, the improvements will be seen a little sooner. Consumers should expect these changes in the late spring/early summer: 

  • Addition of three new 350-passenger boats
  • Deployment of up to eight charter vessels that can hold up to 500 passengers
  • More frequent boat departures, arriving ever 20-30 minutes throughout the week
  • Express service during weekday rush hour and weekends directly to and from Rockaway and Pier 11/Wall Street.

“NYC Ferry’s overwhelming success in its first year of service indicates the need to make smart investments for the future now. This capital investment will support system improvements over the next five years, ultimately enhancing customer experience and strengthening the City’s waterfront infrastructure,”  NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett said.

NYC Ferry is looking to hire new people for the positions that will become available during their expansion. They need customer service agents, captains, ticketing, deckhands and more. If you’re interested you can apply directly at

The final two routes of the first phase of ferry service – Soundview and the Lower East Side – are expected to begin operating in late summer 2018.