Southern Brooklyn

Map: How De Blasio’s Expanded Ferry System Will Connect The Boroughs

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Local elected officials praised Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $55 million plan to expand the city’s ferry system – including stops in Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Red Hook, and Brooklyn Army Terminal – which will provide fast access between all five boroughs for the fare of a MetroCard by 2017.

“Today I applaud Mayor de Blasio for his $55 million capital commitment to a 5-borough ferry system and declaring that New York City’s waterfront will be open for all. The ripple effect from this service will be felt throughout the entire city from Bay Ridge to Bayside; from Staten Island to Soundview,” said Councilman Vincent Gentile in a statement yesterday. “Access to a true 5-borough ferry system will be just another jewel to add to our crown here in southwest Brooklyn, one that will be a boon to small businesses and real estate alike.”

Property values around ferry stops are expected to increase by 8%, according to data from 2013 study of the ferry service by the New York City Economic Development Corporation. In addition, proposals are underway to eventually add ports in Coney Island and Stapleton, dramatically increasing access between Southern Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, also praised the plan, saying it would aid Southern Brooklyn commuters and would boost economic development, job growth, and housing in the area.

“The Brooklyn Chamber has been calling for a South Brooklyn ferry route for over two years, and Mayor de Blasio has gone above and beyond with this plan. I want to thank and congratulate the Mayor for his proposal, and I look forward to riding the waves along Southern Brooklyn soon,” Scissura said.

The project will cost the city $55 million to build the infrastructure, and between $10 million and $20 million annually to subsidize the service for 4.6 million riders, which would actually be run by private companies.

Gothamist created this map highlighting just how interconnected the boroughs will be when the plan is complete:

Proposed NYC Ferry Expansion Map

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20 COMMENTS

  1. A noble idea, but people forget they have tried this numerous times before, and it has proved to be fiscally prohibitive, and not popular. And that was during times when the demographic contained many more seafaring folks! Sometimes, I think that the powers that be in The City, haven’t ventured to the outer boroughs in quite a long time! I wish them well, but will be shocked if it works over the long term!!!

  2. There are much more worthy transportation projects to be spending money on… take Triboro RX for instance. However, rail takes longer and thus Blasio will no longer be mayor by the ribbon-cutting. That’s why much of the focus has been on ferries and SBS: quick projects that he can take political credit for.

  3. No ferry service will be successful unless there is a concerted effort by all parties. Bus routes need to meet the ferry and coordinate departure times and there has to be free parking in Rockaway. Also, the fare must be reasonable.

    I’m not saying ferries should be the city’s highest priority but if you do it, do it right, not a half assed job like they have been doing, so that service is discontinued as soon as funding is depleted.

    If the city is going to spend money for transportation services, I would rather they just pay the MTA to subsidize school bus service so that the money the MTA uses for that could be used for other bus services.

  4. I think a regular bus route (like the one you proposed from SHB to Rockaway Park via Knapp Street) would get a lot more riders than a ferry. I don’t think a lot of people would be willing to make a 3 seat ride (bus-ferry-bus) just to get anywhere useful.

  5. No ferry service will be successful unless there is a concerted effort by all parties. Bus routes need to meet the ferry and coordinate departure times and there has to be free parking in Rockaway. Also, the fare must be reasonable.

    Wouldn’t all that just worsen the financial picture for ferry service, which is already notably terrible? (Of course, here I’m assuming that we would be honest enough to consider those items part of the costs of the ferry.)

  6. My only point in bringing up a possible Breezy Point Sheepshead Bay Ferry is that since long distance ferries such as from Rockaway to Manhattan are so expensive to operate, it may make more sense to consider a short distance five or ten minute ferry to Sheepshead Bay instead. But as gustaajedrez stated perhaps a bus from Rockaway to Sheepshead Bay may even be better. The major point being that more has to be done to help Rockaway residents and they shouldn’t have to wait two more years.

  7. I agree, although I suspect that the numbers would be extremely low in either case – unless the bus makes a lot of intermediate stops, in which case it might carry a decent degree of intermediate traffic (but virtually no terminal-to-terminal traffic).

  8. What is the exact problem for Rockaway residents that you are trying to solve? (Do you have any evidence for even a small market for transit service between Breezy Point and Sheepshead Bay?)

  9. For Rockaway residents, it is the long commute to Manhattan and just as long commute to Sheepshead Bay. Similarly, it is a three or four bus trip for many trips between Sheepshead Bay and Rockaway and can take 90 minutes. Kind of ridiculous when I can see Rockaway from my bedroom window.

  10. For Rockaway residents, it is the long commute to Manhattan and just as long commute to Sheepshead Bay.

    Rockaway is a pretty significant distance from Manhattan, so I don’t think it should come as any surprise that the commute time to Manhattan is pretty long. Except for people coming from Breezy Point itself – an area which has no public transit service at present and as far as I can see has no interest in public transit service – a long bus ride to the eastern tip of the peninsula followed by a ferry ride followed by a subway ride is highly unlikely to take less time than the existing options (the A train, or the Q35 to the 2/5 train, or the QM16/QM17 express bus).

    Yes, a ferry from Breezy Point to Sheepshead Bay would reduce travel times between Breezy Point and Sheepshead Bay. I’m sure both regular commuters between those points would appreciate a ferry.

    Similarly, it is a three or four bus trip for many trips between Sheepshead Bay and Rockaway and can take 90 minutes.

    And if there were a significant commuting market between those points, that might be a problem. But there isn’t.

    Kind of ridiculous when I can see Rockaway from my bedroom window.

    Drawing lines on a map isn’t planning.

    By the way, you also posted this proposal to Second Avenue Sagas, where you got responses from Bolwerk, lop, and myself. Any reactions to any of the three?

  11. And you know that there is no market between these points? How? Improved transit creates markets and the Rockaways certainly need economic development.

  12. I was on the East River Ferry that goes from Midtown Manhattan E 34 St. to Brooklyn Bridge Park There were only 20 people on board at the first stop. The boat made 4 stops before getting to the Brooklyn Bridge. I got off by that stop and there were only about 3 people left on board as it headed to the last stop Wall St. It was a nice ride but it doesn’t look like they have that many customers. So I don’t think the planned ferry service to bay ridge or coney island will work. Also I think it will be too long of a ride given the many stops it makes.

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