The following is the text of a news release from Hornblower and the New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC):
(BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala.) — Officials from Hornblower and the New York City Economic Development Corp. toured the Horizon Shipyard facility Wednesday morning and received an update on construction, which is on schedule, and inspected the first completed citywide ferry superstructure. Completion of the superstructure marks a significant milestone in what will become New York City’s first citywide ferry service and one of the largest commuter ferry operations in the United States. Phase 1 of Citywide Ferry will launch in summer 2017.
Hornblower’s CEO Terry MacRae, Senior Vice President and Citywide Ferry Project Manager Cameron Clark and NYCEDC Executive Vice President Seth Myers were among the officials on the tour led by Horizon Shipyard CEO Travis Short. Also joining the tour was Chris Allard, the CEO of Metal Shark, the other shipyard building several of the 19 vessels. Metal Shark is located in Jeanerette, La., about four hours west of Horizon Shipyard. Currently, eight boats are under construction at Horizon Shipyard and four boats are under construction at Metal Shark.
The vessels will be equipped with the latest in 21st-century maritime technology and best design practices. Approximately 200 full-time builders between both shipyards are working on the project. Construction of the barges has been underway for several months on Staten Island. Later this year, NYCEDC will begin installation of new ferry landings for the 2017 routes.
Specs and features for Citywide Ferry vessels include:
• Capacity for 150 passengers along with space for bikes, strollers and wheelchairs.
• ADA Local Law 68/2005 accessibility and compliance.
• Boats are 85 feet long, offering passengers more space than more traditional ferries.
• Ferries are primarily built out of aluminum, which is safe, light weight and increases fuel efficiency. The fleet of 19 vessels will be built with the equivalent of over 77 million cans of aluminum.
• Use of ultra-efficient engines to reduce emissions.
• Innovative hull design to limit wake and maximize fuel efficiency.
• Wi-Fi available throughout the vessel.
• Heated decks that increase each vessel’s resiliency and durability, especially during the cold, snowy winter months.
Horizon Shipyard and Metal Shark have over 50 years of experience in building large quantities of top-of-the-line vessels. Both shipyards have expanded their facilities in recent years and utilize the latest in 21st-century build strategies to ensure their projects are delivered on schedule in order to build vessels for the armed services, and passenger vessel, cruise, oil industries and more. Completion of Citywide Ferry will be no exception, with the first boats expected to be delivered from each yard early next year.
Hornblower’s experienced project management team, which has supervised several successful project launches in New York State under tight deadlines, has staff on the ground at both shipyards and maintains constant communication with shipyard staff to ensure transparency and efficiency.
With 19 vessels operating at 21 landings across New York City, Citywide Ferry will carry an estimated 4.6 million trips per year across six routes, providing a new and easily accessible transit option traditionally underserved communities and where job and housing are growing rapidly. The existing East River Ferry will be fully integrated into Citywide Ferry, which will reduce the cost of that service to $2.75 from $4, the same cost of a subway ride.