Mayor Bloomberg announced Friday that the East River Ferry, which connects the Brooklyn Waterfront to Long Island City, Lower Manhattan and Midtown Manhattan, will run until 2019. This is a five-year extension to the pilot project subsidized by the city, which launched in June 2011 and was set to end in June 2014. Crain’s reported that the fares for weekend service will increase to $6 from $4, and winter weekend service will decrease.
Mayor Bloomberg said ferry ridership has tripled since 2011. “The city’s Economic Development Corporation began seeking bids to extend service last December after initial reports revealed that traffic on the ferries was vastly exceeding expectations, especially after Superstorm Sandy sidelined the subway system,” said the story. “The number of riders were twice what was projected, and weekend ferries had to turn some passengers away because of increased demand.”
The service has been especially popular and important along the waterfront in North Brooklyn to quickly connect residents of new high rise towers there to jobs in Manhattan. It has also proved a boon whenever subway service shuts down, such as along the L and R lines.