While limited service will be offered from the Corlears Hook landing, NYC Ferry has announced the permanent elimination of its Lower East Side route, effective Monday, May 18.
NYC Ferry reports ridership has sunk dramatically during the coronavirus outbreak, up to 90%. New schedules have been released reflecting an across-the-board reduction is service, as well as the consolidation of certain routes. The Lower East Side will now be served by the South Brooklyn route.
Beginning Monday, passengers who board at Corlears Hook will be taken across the East River to to Dumbo, before the ferry proceeds to Wall Street/Pier 11, then back across the river to Brooklyn Bridge Park, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge.
The Stuyvesant Cove landing (near 20th Street) will be served by the Soundview route. Passengers will be able to get to Wall Street/Pier 11 in one stop, or go up to 34th Street, 90th Street and Soundview.
So what’s changed on the Lower East Side? Currently, service is offered from Corlears Hook to Stuyvesant Cove, 34th Street and Long Island City. That will no longer be an option, starting Monday.
“As a reminder,” NYC Ferry wrote in an email message, “right now riders who are not traveling for an essential purpose are discouraged from riding NYC Ferry to help protect yourself, our crews, and those essential workers who are using the ferry daily. If you must ride, please remember you are required to wear a face covering or mask while on the ferries and at landings.”
Neighborhood activists fought for years to establish ferry service on the Lower East Side. The landing debuted in August of 2018, with the mayor attending the grand opening. Many transportation policy experts have questioned the wisdom of the highly subsidized service, as service and funding woes hobbled the MTA.
Mayor de Blasio came to the Lower East Side this morning to herald the arrival of the sixth and final route in the city’s new ferry system. He gathered with community leaders at Corlears Hook, where service is now being offered up the east side, across to Queens and down to Wall Street.
You can find route details here.
The mayor was introduced today by Michael Marino, a resident of the East River Co-op and head of Friends of Corlears Hook Park. During brief remarks, Marino said the ferry would make commuting to work a lot easier for many locals (including himself) and also be a big boost for the park.
The Lower East Side route makes stops at East 34th Street, Stuyvesant Cove and Pier 11, in addition to Long Island City and Corlears Hook. Since launching in May of last year, the ferry has carried more than 6 million passengers. The mayor said, “NYC ferries have turned the East River, which once divided New Yorkers, into a point of connection – and are helping us build a fairer city for all. With the launch of the Lower East Side route and the connecting NYC Ferry lines, residents of this historic neighborhood now have greater access to the rest of our city.”
Throughout Corlears Hook Park, the city has installed signage directing people to the ferry. During community meetings, some residents have expressed concerns about the transportation infrastructure to get people from the ferry to their final destinations. This morning, at least, there were plenty of bikes in the Corlears Hook Citi Bike station. Locals have also been urging the MTA to step up service on the 14A bus, which stops on Cherry Street at Jackson Street.
Walking briskly this morning, we made it from Grand Street and Pitt Street to the ferry landing in just over 9 minutes.
The city announced today that the new Lower East Side ferry route will launch on Wednesday, Aug. 29.
You’ve seen the dock along the East River. It’s located just below the Bandshell and Corlears Hook Park. The Lower East Side route will offer service to and from Wall Street, Corlears Hook, Stuyvesant Cove, East 34th Street and Long Island City.
Schedules have already been published. If you’re headed to work on Wall Street, you’ll be able to hop on as early as 6:57 a.m., arriving at your destination 7 minutes later. If you work in East Midtown, you could catch the Corlears Hook ferry as early as 7:06, arriving at 34th Street by 7:25. The boats will leave just about every 30 minutes, with service ending nightly at around 9:30 p.m.
Have you noticed the big crane operating in the East River near Corlears Hook Park? It’s part of NYC Ferry’s summer 2018 expansion plan.
A Lower East Side route will be added in a few months, connecting the neighborhood with Wall Street, Stuyvesant Town, East 34th Street and Long Island City. The 90-foot long ferry landing near the East River Bandshell will be able to accommodate three boats at a time.
NYC Ferry attracted almost 3 million riders last year. The city has not been specific about a launch date, but don’t expect it at the very beginning of the summer.