Ferry Transit Program


Do you want ferry service in your neighborhood? Click here to sign up for an MWA Ferry Advisory Committee!

Our subways, buses, and commuter rails operate beyond capacity. Vehicles overburden bridges, tunnels, and roadways, clogging them with insufferable gridlock and producing high levels of dangerous emissions. Yet the City’s greatest resource—the rivers, bays, canals, and other water bodies that define our 520-mile coastline—flows by, largely untapped for its transit potential. Now is the time to expand water-based transportation across the five boroughs.

Fast, comfortable, and efficient, ferries can speed passengers to their destinations on the wide-open waterways, virtually unaffected by the congestion, power outages, labor strikes, or other events that can cripple other modes of transit. Ferries boast the ability to reach communities underserved by subways, while attracting tourists and economic development to the waterfront neighborhoods surrounding increasingly busy ferry terminals. And the capital costs required to launch new ferry service pale in comparison to the price tag for new rail or road networks.

With the January 2013 launch of our new Ferry Transit Program, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance is now the primary non-governmental advocate for expanded and enhanced ferry service in New York City. We have spearheaded a two-pronged advocacy strategy, engaging City Council members and public officials to facilitate policy shifts and secure future government subsidy, as well as organizing grassroots ferry campaigns in neighborhoods that could benefit from ferry service. Our advocacy efforts focus on establishing a ferry system that is

  • Extensive, serving residents in all five boroughs
  • Affordable, making ferry transit accessible to all New Yorkers
  • Frequent, running on a schedule that conveniently serves community needs
  • Integrated with New York City Transit so riders may pay fares with a MetroCard
  • Reliable for mobilization during emergency events

For more information about MWA's Ferry Transit Program, please click here.



White Paper - Ship to Shore: Integrating New York Harbor Ferries with Upland Communities (April 18, 2014)

AMNY—Ferries Floated as Way to Expand NYC Transit (January 14, 2014)

New York Daily News—Solution to Bronx's Transit Crisis Lies in City's Rivers and Bays (December 20, 2013)

AMNY—Group Floats Expansion of NYC Ferries (October 24, 2013)

New York Daily News—City To Expand Ferry Service to Bay Ridge and Sunset Park During Long R Train Outage

New York Daily News—Group Working To Generate Support for Ferry Service Between Manhattan and Bronx (June 28, 2013)

DNA Info—Waterfront Advocacy Group Pushing for Astoria Ferry Service (June 19, 2013)

New York City Council Ferry Briefing Presentation (April 25, 2013)

Gotham Gazette—We Are An Island People: When Will New
York City Truly Embrace Water Transit?
(April 15, 2013)

Waterfront Platform—Ferries: Island People Need Ferries in Good Times and Bad

White Paper—Maximizing Ferries in New York City's Emergency Management Planning






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