It’s June 1 and there’s the smell of fresh infrastructure in the air.
The new NYC Ferry is launching its South Brooklyn route today, which will link Bay Ridge, Sunset Park and Red Hook to Dumbo and Wall Street by boat.
Boats run every half hour during rush hour and will cost the same as a subway ride, $2.75.
— City of New York (@nycgov) May 31, 2017
The ferry offers a real relief for these neighborhoods. In Red Hook, the fastest way to get downtown now is to take a bus to Downtown Brooklyn and then the 2 or 3 train into the city, which takes at least 41 minutes, according to Google Maps. The ferry will take only 30 minutes, according to its schedule. In addition to the time savings, riders will be have the added utility of being on a boat on a beautiful river, rather than in an airless and sweltering underground tuna can stuffed shoulder to shoulder with fellow commuters.
City planners expect the ferries to have a favorable economic impact on the neighborhoods they reach. We talked to Andrew Hoan last month, the president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, who said he thinks the ferries will be good for startups looking to sprout up in old, cheaper, industrial spots.
“We see areas such as Red Hook and Sunset Park becoming hubs for manufacturing. With more proposed development in Red Hook, the Mayor’s Bush Terminal project, and more space being filled in Industry City the need for access grows,” Hoan said. “What this all means is that more people from outside of the borough will be making their way to these areas for jobs and more Brooklynites will have the access they desire and deserve.”