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Soundview ferry model at Soundview Library

 

Residents of the Bronx will soon have a chance to view the new Soundview Ferry up close and personal – sort of.

NYC Economic Development Corporation and Borough President Ruben Diaz announced on Monday, March 13 that a scale model of the new citywide ferry service vessels is now available for viewing at Soundview Library.

The model will stay at the the library through Wednesday, March 22 before moving to the Bronx Museum for the rest of the month.

The new vessel will be a part of the East River ferry’s new Soundview route, set to launch in 2018, which will travel from Soundview to Wall Street/Pier 11.

Along the way it will make stops at East 90th Street and East 62nd Street.

NYCEDC president James Patchett said the model will “give Bronxites a firsthand look of the state-of-the-art vessels that will transform the way they commute across the city.”

The price for using the ferry service will drop from $4 to $2.75 – the same cost as taking the subway.

The Soundview route is a part of a larger $55 million expansion of the East River ferry service.

Other ferries, according to the plan, will service the Rockaways, south Brooklyn, and Astoria – all of which are scheduled to launch later this year.

In addition there will be a lower east side route added in 2018.

The EDC is also touting the technological and environmental upgrades on the new vessels.

To accommodate the new routes, the city is adding 19 new vessels to the ferry service, each of which will be of aluminum construction, using the equivalent of 77 million 12-ounce beverage cans.

According to the corporation, aluminum is safer and a lighter weight, therefore increasing fuel efficiency.

Also, the ferries will use low-carbon emission engines.

As for the technology, each vessel will be equipped with wifi, charging stations, and heated decks.

The ferries will seat 150 passengers while also allowing space for bicycle racks, strollers and wheelchairs.

A $1 fee is charged for bring a bike on board.

The city will kick in $30 million in operating support per year over a period of six years.

According to the EDC – based on a projection of 4.6 million annual trips – the per-trip subsidy for the ferry service will be $6.80.

The East River Ferry Service began as a pilot program back in 2011, solely servicing Manhattan.

Since then the EDC began looking for ways to add additional routes to service.

In 2013, they proposed a citywide service which included the East 90th and East 62nd street stops.

EDC thought these spots valuable for the expanded service due to their population density, limited transit options and travel habits.

During his State of the Borough address on March 5, Diaz pointed to the new Soundview route as one of the borough’s success stories.

Diaz said bringing the ferry to the Bronx “has long been a priority of my administration” and having the model at the library will “provide Bronxites a closer look at the future of ferry service in Soundview.”

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at rchristie@cnglocal.com.

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By Robert Christie

Source: Bronx Times Reporter