NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York will start rolling out its citywide ferry service a month ahead of schedule.
Shipyard workers in Louisiana and Alabama have been scrambling to get the fleet ready. The first ship arrived in New York Harbor this week, CBS2 reported.
The first two routes are being launched on May 1.
De Blasio says a new Rockaway, Queens route gets top priority because residents there have some of the city’s longest commute times.
The service, now officially named NYC Ferry , will travel between Manhattan and waterfront neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
A South Brooklyn route will start June 1. An Astoria, Queens route launches in August, followed by Lower East Side and Bronx routes in 2018.
The new system will provide service at 21 landings across six different routes and will integrate existing service from the East River Ferry system, according to they mayor’s office. Officials said the new ferry service will cover over 60 miles of waterways and could be faster than subways and buses.
“What we have are 150 passenger vessels — in terms of length, space — they’re spacious, around 86 ft. long, 30 ft wide,” Cameron Clark, of Hornblower Cruises & Events, told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb. “You really have a seat-per-person on board.”
A trip from the Rockaways to Wall Street will take about an hour, the ride from Astoria to 34th Street will take 22 minutes, and the trip between Soundview and Wall Street will take less than 45.
The new boats will be WiFi capable and serve snacks and alcoholic beverages.
“A lot of great on board things for folks to be excited about, breakfast sandwiches, coffee, adult beverages and other things just to make sure that your commute is something you’re looking forward to,” Clark said.
A ride will cost $2.75.
The service is expected to accommodate around 4.6 million passengers.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)