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BillyBey Ferry Company
The board of the city's Economic Development Corp. plans to award on Wednesday, February 2011 a three-year, $9 million contract to ferry operator Billybey Ferry Co. to run new commuter boat service along the East River beginning this spring.
The ferry service, to be launched by early June, will run from East 34th Street across the East River and will stop at Queens West in Long Island City and Greenpoint, Williamsburg (which will have two stops) and Fulton Ferry in Brooklyn before crossing back to Pier 11 in lower Manhattan.
A stop off Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn will operate during summer weekends, as will service to Governors Island when the island is open to tourists.
The route will be divided into zones. One-way fares will be $3 for one zone and $5.50 for two zones. For example, a rider would pay $3 to travel from Greenpoint to 34th Street, or $5.50 to travel from south Williamsburg to 34th Street. A free bus will take commuters during rush hour across 34th Street, to Bryant Park and Grand Central Terminal. On the weekends, ferry riders will rely on the M34 bus.
Ferries will operate every half hour—every 20 minutes during rush hour—year-round, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.
Ferry service on the East River has long been planned for the spring of 2012. Mayor Michael Bloomberg reiterated his commitment to ferries in his State of the City address last month. He would like to see greater development, recreation and public transportation along the city's 578 miles of shoreline.
BillyBey Ferry Co. contracts with NY Waterway to operate the 16 ferries it owns. NY Waterway and Billybey have run ferry service across the Hudson River since 1986. Owner Bill Wachtel said he hopes East River ferry service will spur wider development of the city's eastern shorelines, as it has in New Jersey.
“Hopefully this is the beginning of a service that will continue for generations on,” he said.
Billybey Ferry Co. and NY Waterway: They are separate companies. Billybey contracts with NY Waterway to operate the 16 ferries it owns. All carry the NY Waterway logo.