Starting August 15th, it will offer a route up the East River from Wall Street to the Upper East Side to the Bronx's Soundview neighborhood. On August 29, it will launch a Lower East Side route connecting Wall Street with the LES, Stuyvesant Town, Midtown and Long Island City.
“We’re excited to launch NYC Ferry service in the Bronx, the Upper East Side and the Lower East Side, which have historically been transit deserts,” said NYC Economic Development Corporation president James Patchett in a statement.
NYC Ferry has served five million passengers since it began operation in May 2017, and the city expects to see nine million riders per year by 2023. It is investing $300 million in improved infrastructure and new boats to keep up with demand. NYC Ferry has already ordered six new 350-passenger vessels from Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark to complement its existing fleet of 150-passenger ferries, and the first of the larger boats arrived at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in July. The city also charters-in additional vessels during the summer months in order to keep pace with peak season demand.
The ferry service is bringing low-cost public transportation to neighborhoods that have not historically benefited from NYC's subway services, like the western edge of Astoria or Greenpoint. Real-estate experts say that the advent of the NYC Ferry is leading to rising rental prices and investment in these areas. In an analysis conducted last September, real estate data firm StreetEasy determined that rents in areas within a 10-minute walk of a ferry stop were rising at a rate of up to two percent per year, compared with relatively flat rates in similar areas nearby. "The striking uniformity of these effects is further evidence that there is a clear, if only moderate-size effect on real estate prices from this summer’s ferry service expansion," StreetEasy analyst Grant Long concluded.