City boat tours are usually deemed uncouth tourist activities, but these short trips are an important element of NYC's vast transit infrastructure. The inspiring skyline view is just an added benefit.
Every day more than 100,000 workers and students in New York City start their morning with a boat ride. There are approximately 66 ferry boats leaving 56 terminals around NYC every day, according to The Mobility Factbook created by the NYU Rudin Center for Transporation.
The majority, or about 65,000 of these trips, are taken for free on the Staten Island Ferry. Eight vessels currently make the 25-minute journey between northern Staten Island and lower Manhattan.
The ferry system was launched in 1905 and cost passengers 50 cents per ride until the fare was eliminated in 1997. The system, now operated by the NYC Department of Transportation, costs tax payers $4.86 per passenger trip.
Smaller services on the Hudson and East River accommodate riders along New Jersey, Queens, and Brooklyn. A map of all current services is below.
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Photo credit: The Staten Island Ferry goes by the Statue of Liberty. Shaun Merritt / Flickr