ROCKAWAY PARK — The Rockaway ferry will set sail May 1, a full month ahead of schedule, city officials said Thursday.
The official name for the new service will now be NYC Ferry, not Citywide Ferry.
The route, which will take passengers from the new dock on Beach 108th Street to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and then Pier 11 at Wall Street, is the first of the new ferry routes to launch.
A spokesman for the Economic Development Corporation said the first boat will take off on May 1 with service starting at 5:30 a.m.
It will launch alongside the already-existing East River Ferry for the inaugural routes in the city's ambitious service. The ferry service will come with a fare reduction — from the existing $4 on weekdays and $6 on weekends to a flat $2.75 rate.
The previous start date for the route was sometime in June.
"Rockaway residents have some of the longest commute times in the city," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in the press release highlighting the news.
"We promised we'd bring them our new NYC Ferry service first, and today we're delivering on that promise."
The South Brooklyn route, which connects Bay Ridge with the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Wall Street, will launch June 1. Astoria's route will launch in August, and the other routes — Astoria, Soundview and the Lower East Side — will begin in 2018.
The Rockaway boat — which is designed differently than the others because it will travel through rougher waters — arrived at Liberty Landing in New Jersey on Sunday and is getting finishing work done before it starts, the spokesman said.
The peninsula will have a free shuttle bus between Beach 35th and Beach 169th streets to take riders to the ferry.
The fare for the Citywide Ferry will be $2.75, but riders will not get a free transfer to MTA buses or subways.
The news of the early May start date was first reported by The Wave.