Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn-to-Governors Island ferry service may not a-pier immediately

City Officials May Need More Time to See if Full-Time Service to the Isle ‘Makes Sense’

September 14, 2016 By James Harney Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A rendering of the new ferry boats. Image courtesy of NYC Economic Development Corporation
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There will be ferry good news for Brooklyn-to-Manhattan trans-river commuters next year, but service to Governors Island on the same timetable is no shore thing.

In 2017, the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) plans to launch Citywide Ferry Service (CFS) boats on routes they’ve dubbed Rockaway, Astoria and South Brooklyn.

The Rockaway route will begin at a dock in Rockaway and trek around the bottom of Brooklyn, stopping at the Brooklyn Army Terminal before journeying on to Pier 11 at Wall Street in lower Manhattan.

Astoria route ferries will start from Astoria on the Queens waterfront, travel over to Roosevelt Island and then back to Long Island City before crossing the East River to East 34th Street and then Wall Street.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Ferries along the South Brooklyn route will stop at docks at Bay Ridge, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 and Pier 6, and then travel over to Pier 11 at Wall Street in lower Manhattan.

In 2018, the city plans to begin ferry service from docks in Soundview on the Bronx waterfront and on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. And routes from Coney Island and Stapleton on Staten Island are planned for future expansion.

When all is said and done, the EDC says, more than 500,000 New Yorkers will live within a half-mile of one of the 21 Citywide Ferry landings, including 15,000 families living in NYCHA developments.

“We’re excited to launch Citywide Ferry Service next year to bring much-needed, affordable transit to communities like Red Hook and Sunset Park, and cutting commute times by as much as 25 minutes for South Brooklyn residents,” said NYEDC spokesperson Stephanie Báez.

“Governors Island service will be part of the South Brooklyn route, and could launch as early as next year,” Baez said. 

One of the factors the agency is considering, she explained, is whether the island will be open to the public year-round, because that could determine whether ferry service should be run there on weekends or seasonally. “We are currently working with the Trust for Governors Island and [ferry operator] Hornblower to determine what kind of service is best for both commuters and visitors, and when to start that service.”

Right now, Governors Island is open for public use only from May through September. The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, a public high school that gears its curriculum to water and waterfront studies, operates there, as does the Billion Oyster Project, which is working to restore one billion live oysters to New York Harbor over the next 20 years. Both are accessed off-season via ferry from Manhattan only.


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