NYC Ferry orders three 350-passenger boats for service in 2018

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NYC Ferry is formalizing a change order to add larger boats to its fleet – boats that can accommodate up to 350 passengers. Photo credit: Diana Colapietro

After a summer of long lines and the usual delays, the city will spend millions ordering larger boats for NYC ferry service, amNewYork has learned.

The city’s economic development corporation is in the process of formalizing a change order with NYC Ferry operators, Hornblower, to put three new boats into service next year that can accommodate 350 passengers – more than double the number of passengers. able to fit in current ships service, according to EDC.

“With more than 2 million passengers since May 1, New Yorkers have spoken loud and clear about their desire to travel by ferry,” said EDC President James Patchett, who said the more spacious boats ” will help more New Yorkers move around the city. “

The city has contracts with two shipyards – Horizon Shipbuilding Inc. in Alabama and Metal Shark in Louisiana – that are working to fulfill an order for 20 ferries. The change order will ask Metal Shark to build the three largest ships. Each ferry will cost the city between $ 7 million and $ 7.5 million to build and is expected to be in service in New York Harbor by summer 2018, the EDC said.

At that time, the city plans to launch two new routes for the Bronx and the Lower East Side. The three largest boats will be available for all routes as needed, according to an EDC spokesperson.

Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted that NYC Ferry had a capacity issue. Its 150-passenger capacity boats had often left excess passengers stranded at the docks, especially on summer weekends as passengers made their way to Rockaway Beach and Governors Island. To cater for larger-than-expected crowds, Hornblower adjusted schedules to reduce disembarkation traffic and chartered between two or three larger boats each day.

“It’s a good problem to have when more and more people are taking ferries than expected,” de Blasio said in May, when he first mentioned that the city would consider buying bigger boats. . “And we’re going to continue to meet that demand, because it shows that people want this option and they need this option.”


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