In 2017, the New York City ferry had 2.89 million passengers, according to the Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC), which had predicted only 2.1 million riders.
The ferry has four routes, the most popular being the East River.
“NYC Ferry has proven to be more popular than we could have hoped, and nearly three million riders agree it’s the best way to get around the city,” James Patchett, president of NYCEDC, said. “Now we’re looking forward to launching two more routes in 2018, helping even more riders connect to good jobs and opportunities.”
The new routes will be the Bronx and the Lower East Side routes.
To deal with the rise in ridership, the city ordered six new vessels in September. These vessels can accommodate 349 passengers, 200 more than the current fleet.
The new boats will cost between $7 million and $7.5 million.
NYCEDC has been using Vinik Marine’s tugboats to break ice in New York Harbor, encouraging the ice to melt faster. NYCEDC is paying Vinik Marine $950 an hour.
A combination of snowstorms and freezing temperatures have created the iciest New York Harbor in 22 years. The ferry’s Rockaway route was suspended on Jan. 5 because of ice.