David Stone
RIOC President/CEO Susan Rosenthal became the first to arrive by NYC Ferry for work on Roosevelt Island in August, 2017. City Council Member Ben Kallos played gatekeeper.
RIOC President/CEO Susan Rosenthal became the first to arrive by NYC Ferry for work on Roosevelt Island in August, 2017. City Council Member Ben Kallos played gatekeeper.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

NYC Ferry Service for Roosevelt Island carries on its second year, part of what's arguably the most popular move of Mayor Bill de Blasio's term in office. A major expansion's been announced. What's in it for Roosevelt Island?

“It’s official. The NYC Ferry will now serve all five boroughs,” de Blasio said on Monday. “We’re delivering new routes to Staten Island, Coney Island, and new stops in the Bronx and Brooklyn. As New Yorkers take to the water to get around our city more than ever before, we will look forward to improving the NYC Ferry system to make it better than ever.”

Interestingly, the only change set to take place this year involves the Astoria Route, which serves Roosevelt Island.

While new routes will bring service to Staten Island and Manhattan's west side in the next two years, as soon as May, the Astoria Route will add a new stop - at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, projected to be NYC Ferry's homeport and already undergoing revitalization.

The only downside in this is that it increases the run between Astoria and Wall Street terminals to 45 minutes, adding to the commute time for a regular contingent of Roosevelt Islanders who rely on the ferry as a faster, more reliable alternative to the subway.

But as City Council Member Ben Kallos noted, "The NYC Ferry has fundamentally improved Roosevelt Islanders' commutes, and the new connection to the Brooklyn Navy Yard will open up even more opportunities. By connecting Cornell Tech to the Navy Yard, we are further cementing Roosevelt Island's role as an innovation hub."

Among coming attractions at the Navy Yard, soon easy to get to without going underground, are historic Jewish store Russ and Daughters's smoked fish, caviar, bagels, and bialys and a massive Wegmans supermarket, bringing the popular upstate food merchant to New York for the first time.