New Larger Ferry Arrives in NYC
Ridership on the new NYC Ferry system has far exceeded expectations, serving 5 million passengers since the service was launched in May 2017. Now, in response to the record-breaking demand, new larger-capacity ferries are being built for New York waters, the first of which, Ocean Queen Rockstar, has arrived in New York this week.
Ocean Queen Rockstar, the first in a series of six new 350-passenger capacity vessels being built for the NYC Ferry fleet, completed sea trials and journeyed 2,200 nautical miles from builder Metal Shark’s Gulf Coast shipyard to New York Harbor earlier this week. The vessel will undergo final installations, modifications and testing before joining the 16-vessel fleet currently operating across four routes at the end of July.
Designed by Incat Crowther, the new vessels are outfitted with larger engines and substantially more seating on the top and bottom decks to accommodate more passengers.
“Ocean Queen Rockstar will help us meet growing demand for this service and get even more New Yorkers to their destinations throughout the city,” said James Patchett, president and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).
“We are thrilled about the arrival of the newest and largest NYC Ferry vessel in New York this week," said Cameron Clark, SVP of NYC Ferry operated by Hornblower. "We continue to work collaboratively with NYCEDC to accommodate the high ridership numbers and excitement of our riders."
Earlier this year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to invest $300 million in capital over the next five years to secure additional higher-capacity vessels, improve existing piers and docks, and build a second homeport where the growing fleet will be housed and maintained. The investment follows updated projections that NYC Ferry’s ridership could grow to as many as 9 million annual passengers by 2023, twice as many passengers as initially projected. NYC Ferry experienced record-breaking ridership this week, serving nearly 75,000 riders last weekend, and ultimately serving 5 million riders total as of today.
Since its launch in May 2017, NYC Ferry has employed more than 325 people to fill positions such as captains, deckhands, customer service agents, ticketing, operations and more.