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'USS Lunchbox': Kids Will Get to Name New Citywide Ferry Boats

 The EDC is soliciting name ideas for second graders from schools across the city for the boats.
Citywide Ferry Landing in Astoria
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All aboard the USS Lunchbox!

As the city gets ready to launch three new ferry lines, officials are turning to some of its youngest residents to name the new boats — and suggestions so far include "Lunchbox" and "Friendship Express."

The New York City Economic Development Corporation is working with second grade students from classrooms across the city to come up with monikers for 13 of the new vessels scheduled to set sail this summer during the first phase of citywide ferry service.

"We got some very interesting names," EDC President James Patchett said during a press conference in Astoria, where a new ferry landing is under construction on the Hallets Point peninsula. 

"[These] second graders were quite creative," he said.

While some of the new boats may get a unique handle like "Friendship Express," others will be given names related to maritime history, which the students have been researching as part of the project, according to Patchett.

"We have a lot of great options," he said, adding that the EDC plans to announce the final picks in the coming weeks.

The new ferries will be able to carry up to 150 passengers, and will offer heated decks, free WiFi, charging stations and concession stands, officials have said. Rides will cost $2.75.

Of the five new ferry lines, three will start running this summer, with service expected to launch first on the Rockaway route, followed by the Astoria and south Brooklyn lines.

New routes are also planned for the Lower East Side and the Soundview section of The Bronx in 2018.

On Tuesday, EDC officials gave reporters an update on construction at the new Astoria landing, where crews are drilling piles 75 feet into the bottom of the East River to secure the new dock. 

Astoria Ferry LandingThe new Astoria ferry landing under construction at Hallets Point (DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly)

The station is located next to the Astoria Houses near Hallets Cove Playground off of Vernon Boulevard between Welling Court and 30th Road, where the nearest subway station is about a 20 minute walk away.

The Astoria ferry route will connect to landings in Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, East 34th Street and Wall Street.

"This service is our response to the fact that we need more and more transportation options for our citizens," Patchett said. "This is what the future is — it's about creative thoughts for transportation."