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NYC's new fuel-efficient ferries transport 1m people in 86 days

08 Aug 2017 10:48 GMT

Launched in May, demand for NYC's first city-wide ferry system in over 100 years beats expectations.



A new fleet of fuel-efficient vessels for New York's first city-wide ferry system in over 100 years has already moved more than a million people in just 86 days, according to the office of the city's mayor, Bill de Blasio.

The fleet of 26-metre catamaran ferries was commissioned by Hornblower Cruises - the selected operator of New York's new city-wide ferry service - to form NYC Ferry, which is a government initiative designed to create an affordable, city-wide ferry network with a focus on areas that have been underserved by transit.

The service was launched in May, with the first two vessels delivered only three months ago, and it has already been expanded to 14 vessels with more on the way.

"We knew NYC Ferry would be popular, but a million riders in less than three months is beyond our wildest expectations," said James Patchett, president and CEO of New York's Economic Development Corporation.

According to data provided by the city, 625,000 passengers travelled on the East River Route, 221,000 on the Rockaway Route and 154,000 on the South Brooklyn Route.

Over the coming year, the fleet is set to grow to some 20 vessels, with the network extending to six routes. The fourth route - connecting Astoria, Long Island City, Roosevelt Island, 34th Street and Wall Street - is due to launch on August 29.

Key attributes of the new catamarans are said to include "high fuel efficiency and low emissions"; the vessel is said to be one of the cleanest in American waters, with efficient Tier 3-certified main engines, dry exhausts, and vinyl coating in lieu of solvent-based paints.

Powered by a pair of Baudouin 6M26.3 main engines, rated to 599 kilowatts (kw) each, the catamaran has a top speed in excess of 27 knots.

The aggressive delivery schedule required by the network is being met by two shipyards: Horizon Shipbuilding and Metal Shark.




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