The New York City Ferry officially reached an all-time high as just over a million passengers hopped on the ferry in the first 13 weeks of the year, reports amNY. This is the ferry’s highest ever recorded ridership.
The closest the NYC ferry ridership numbers ever came to being this high was pre-pandemic in which the first quarter of 2020 clocked in approximately 830,000 riders.
As for which route is the most popular, that title goes to the East River crossing between Manhattan and Brooklyn, which is reportedly responsible for 37% of overall ferry trips. This number compares to the Astoria and Soundview lines, which carried 24% and 13% of riders respectively.
Last September, single-ride ferry tickets increased to $4 in order to “allow the system to continue to best serve riders, while generating as much as $2 million in additional annual revenue, helping to reduce the system’s public subsidy.”
Among the fare increase, however, Mayor Adams had also announced a discount program “NYC Ferry Forward” intending to turn the ferry system into a more accessible and fiscally sustainable mode of transportation for New Yorkers.
Beyond this fare increase, the ferry, which has served as a great mode of transportation for New Yorkers since 2017, has also seen other changes and updates.
A new pilot program, the “Faster Connections” pilot, was introduced this past February to make for quicker trips between South Brooklyn and Manhattan, and, beginning in the summer of 2024, NYC’s first ever hybrid ferry will begin taking passengers to Governors Island.
“Last July, Mayor Adams announced the NYC Ferry Forward vision to create a more accessible, equitable and fiscally sustainable ferry system. With record numbers of over 1 million riders in just the first 13 weeks of the year, NYC Ferry users are offering a resounding endorsement of this new vision,” said Andrew Kimball, president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the ferry system, according to amNY. “More than ever, New Yorkers are taking advantage of the efficiency and beauty of travel on our waterways.”
Though this quarter’s NYC ferry ridership numbers reached new heights, it still doesn’t even come close to comparing to the subway’s ridership numbers, which surpassed over 1 billion riders in 2022.