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Mayor Adams unveils phase one of NYC Ferry Forward

Christian Fernsby |
New York City Mayor Eric Adams unveiled "NYC Ferry Forward," his vision for a more equitable, accessible, and fiscally sustainable citywide ferry system.

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The plan includes a new NYC Ferry Discount Program — modeled after the city's Fair Fares program for subways and buses, which offers reduced-fair rides for seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income riders. Starting in September, a at least 1 million - New Yorkers can take advantage of the program and ride the ferry, one way, for the low price of $1.35.

The plan also features a new, progressive fare structure, free trip vouchers and expanded outreach to NYCHA residents, makes it easier for New Yorkers to bike to and from the ferry, and creates opportunities for revenue generation.

Eligible New Yorkers will be able to apply for the Ferry Discount Program using the NYC Ferry website or by mailing in an application. Once verified, eligible riders can buy discounted tickets through the NYC Ferry app or at NYC Ferry ticket windows and agents. The NYC Ferry app will also support digital wallet apps like Cash App to expand access for more New Yorkers.

A discounted one-way ticket price of $1.35 will help to make the ferry accessible to even more New Yorkers, while also helping to diversify NYC Ferry's ridership.

To help more New Yorkers to apply for the Ferry Discount Program, NYC Ferry will send mailers this summer to almost 60 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments within about one mile of each ferry landing, ahead of the program's launch.

Additionally, NYC Ferry in partnership with NYCHA and other community organizations to conduct targeted and ongoing outreach to NYCHA residents and offer two free NYC Ferry app tickets to encourage first time riders to explore and enjoy the ferry. The plan also focuses on increasing revenue and ridership by establishing a new, dynamic, and progressive fare structure, which reduces costs to the city.

This means keeping the cost low for regular riders, while asking infrequent riders to pay a little more. The plan ensures everyday riders can still take advantage of the $2.75 fare by purchasing aa 10-trip pack for $27.50, while single ride fares will cost $4.00 for visitors or infrequent riders. This scale will 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.

Mayor Adams will also eliminate the $1.00 bike fee across the entire NYC Ferry system to help encourage environmentally sustainable multi-modal transportation.

Now, New Yorkers are more encouraged to bike to and from the ferry, while also taking a mode of transportation that decreases commuters' reliance on cars and simultaneously reducing the city's carbon footprint.

The elimination of the $1.00 bike fee and fare changes take effect on September 12, 2022. The city will be working with NYC Ferry operator City Experiences to implement these initiatives over the coming weeks.


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