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Ferry Service in New York City: Analyzing the East River Ferry as a Model for Ferry Expansion

Moskovitz, Sharon

Ferry service is an integral component of the current transit network in New York City. In 2011, the New York City Economic Development Corporation identified the New York City ferry network as the second largest ferry network in the world with a total of 20 ferry routes, 70 vessels, and an annual ridership of 30 million. The majority of ferry systems in the New York City area are operated by private entities; currently there are four private ferry operators in the region: NY Waterways, NY Water Taxi, Liberty Landing Ferry, and Seastreak. Of these, NY Waterway has the largest network of ferry lines, including several major New York City to New Jersey crossings, and the East River ferry line. With an announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio for the expansion of ferry services by 2017, it is important and timely to understand the current state of ferry service in New York City in order to plan for the future. This study analyzes the role of ferry services within the larger transit network in New York City and its significance as a complementary mode of transit. Particular focus is made to the East River Ferry line, as it is subsidized by the NYC EDC and serves as a model for future ferry expansion. Surveys were conducted with current ferry riders in order to gauge the benefits of this service and user preferences. Results suggest that living or working within close proximity of a ferry landing is the primary reason users choose this mode of transit.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Fishman, Michael Adam
Degree
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
October 22, 2015