NYC Ferry’s fall 2018 timetables: Not rocking the boat

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the pun.

NYC Ferry’s fall 2018 timetables go into effect on Monday 17 September. About one in eight trips across the system is being eliminated in the pared-down seasonal schedule. NYC Ferry will provide 2,074 weekly journeys on the six routes connecting four boroughs. That’s down from the 2,359 trips it provided each week after the launch of the LES–Lower East Side and SV–Soundview routes in August, a cut of just over 12%.

For the first time as I recall, NYC Ferry itself provided some details on what’s changing:

The new schedule includes changes to midday and weekend frequency for the Rockaway, East River, Astoria, and South Brooklyn routes. There were slight adjustments to the Lower East Side PM weekday schedule, but frequency for the LES and Soundview routes remain the same until we move into the winter schedule.

Here’s a more detailed look at what’s changing route by route. A chart of the new frequencies follows.


On weekdays, 12 journeys have been cut, a reduction of just over 17%, while weekend service has been reduced 14% on this route. Morning and afternoon peak headways remain the same, meaning commuters can expect a boat to leave every 22 minutes. But midday and evening departures have been reduced to every 45 minutes, down from every 30 minutes over the summer.

On weekends, boats will continue to depart every 45 minutes until about noon, as they did on the summer timetable. But afternoon and evening service will come every 30 minutes instead of every 22 minutes as before.

ER–East River

Weekday schedules have not changed. Boats will still come every 20 minutes during rush hours and every 30 minutes midday and evening.

Weekend service has been reduced slightly, by about 10%. Boats on Saturday and Sunday mornings will still leave every 45 minutes, while on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings boats will leave every 30 minutes — a reduction, but also a little easier to remember. (I don’t know about you, but when a boat leaves every 22 or 24 minutes, the mental math to figure out the next departure or two is surprisingly taxing.)

LES–Lower East Side

There has been no reduction in service on the system’s newest route, and weekend schedules remain the same. However, on weekday afternoons uptown journeys leaving Pier 11/Wall Street after 16.30 and downtown journeys departing Long Island City after 17.00 have all been pushed back by five minutes.


With the end of the summer beachgoing season, the most drastic changes have been made to the route serving the Rockaways, Queens, via Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Overall RW service has been reduced by about 40%, with weekday service cut by over a third and weekend service slashed in half. The Rockaway Express ferry, which skipped the stop at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, has been eliminated, and boats will depart in each direction every hour all day both weekdays and weekends.


No changes have been made to the schedule of the system’s second-newest route, which connects the Bronx to Manhattan and has seen fairly heavy, consistent ridership.

SB–South Brooklyn

One journey in each direction to or from South Brooklyn has been eliminated on weekdays, but overall headways — 30 minutes peak, 45 minutes off-peak — remain the same. Weekend service has been reduced to every 45 minutes all day in both directions.

Headways at a glance

Time between departures in minutes.

Morning peak 22 20 25 60 32–39 30
Midday 45 30 40 60 50 45
Afternoon peak 22 20 25 60 24–39 30
Evening 45 30 40 60 50 45
Morning 45 45 40 60 50 45
Midday 30 30 40 60 50 45
Afternoon/evening 30 30 40 60 50 45

Comparing service levels over time

Even without the LES and SV routes, there would be more service on NYC Ferry’s fall 2018 schedule than there was a year ago: the AST, ER, RW, and SB routes will have a combined 1,421 weekly journeys, versus 1,284 trips on the four routes on the fall 2017 timetables — a nearly 11% increase in service.

Comparing NYC Ferry weekly service levels


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