NYC Ferry (originally called Citywide Ferry Service) is a network of ferry routes in New York City operated by Hornblower Cruises. As of August 2017, there are four routes connecting 17 ferry piers in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. NYC Ferry has a total of 23 vessels, providing half-hourly to hourly service on each of the routes.
'Prior to NYC Ferry, there had been many ferries that traversed the East River and Hudson River, although by the 1960s, almost all ferry services citywide had been discontinued due to the popularity of road and rail transit across the rivers. Ferries in New York City saw a revival in the 1980s and 1990s. As a result of two studies in 2011 and 2013 that showed the impacts of these recent ferries, the city officially proposed its own ferry service in 2013, separate from existing New York City ferry systems such as NY Waterway, New York Water Taxi, and the Staten Island Ferry.
'NYC Ferry was officially announced by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2015. It was planned to launch in two phases. The first phase launched on May 1, 2017, with service along the East River and to the Rockaways. Routes to Bay Ridge and Astoria respectively started in June and August of that year. A second phase, in 2018, will launch to the Lower East Side and Soundview. A ferry to Coney Island and Stapleton is under consideration. Single-ride trips on the system cost $2.75, with monthly and bike fares also available, but there is no free transfer to other modes of transport in the city. NYC Ferry also provides free shuttle buses in the Rockaways, connecting to the ferry stop there.
'The new ferry service, which will eventually have 23 boats on six routes during rush hours, was originally expected to transport 4.5 to 4.6 million passengers annually. However, higher-than-expected ridership on NYC Ferry routes in summer 2017 caused officials to order new vessels and expand the capacity of existing vessels. Despite the ferry's crowded nature, it has generally received positive acclaim from passengers.