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Following a ceremonial ride yesterday with Mayor Bill de Blasio (watch our live feed of the trip here), the NYC Ferry launched officially this morning at 5:30 AM. The initial launch will cover two routes: Rockaways – Sunset Park – Wall Street, and East River, folding in the East River Ferry service into the new NYC Ferry and adding in a Governors Island stop in the summer. The whole system is operated by Hornblower.

This August, a route from Astoria to Wall Street will launch, stopping by Roosevelt Island, Long Island City and East 34th Street, along with one from Bay Ridge to Wall Street, stopping by Sunset Park, Red Hook, Governors Island in the summer, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dumbo). Next summer, the route from Wall Street to the Bronx will be ready along with a Lower East Side route from Long Island City to Wall Street stopping at East 34th Street, Stuyvesant Town and Corlears Hook.

Here are 10 fun facts we’ve learned from our in-person coverage of the evolution of the NYC Ferry:

1. The NYC Ferry Vessels Are Made From Aluminum

Citywide Ferry Vessel under construction at Metal Shark in Louisiana. Image via NYC Ferry

The NYC Ferry fleet will feature nineteen 86-foot long aluminum vessels that can carry 149 passengers each – 128 inside, 28 in open air atop. The entire mass of aluminum used for the vessels would be equivalent to 77 million cans, although the boats are designed to be lightweight and efficient.

The vessels were constructed at Horizon Shipyard in Alabama and at Metal Shark in Louisiana, and sailed across the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida, and up the Atlantic Ocean to get to New York City, where they got their final touches and Coast Guard inspection at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We got a sneak peek of the vessels before that inspection and took photographs and video for Untapped Cities readers.

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