May­or Adams, Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Intro­duce New Hybrid Ferry


Rendering by Elliott Bay Design Group

New York City May­or Eric Adams and Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Pres­i­dent and CEO Clare New­man today intro­duced New York City’s first pub­lic, hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry. The first ves­sel of its kind to pro­vide pub­lic trans­porta­tion with­in New York Har­bor, the new fer­ry will be equipped with a hybrid propul­sion sys­tem that will reduce air pol­lu­tion by allow­ing it to tog­gle between zero-emis­sion bat­tery-only pow­er and bat­tery-assist­ed hybrid with diesel back­up. The bat­tery-assist mode will allow the new fer­ry to reduce car­bon diox­ide emis­sions by approx­i­mate­ly 600 tons annu­al­ly. Future plans for rapid ves­sel charg­ing instal­la­tion will enable the fer­ry to oper­ate with zero-emis­sion bat­tery-only propul­sion, at which point emis­sions will drop to near­ly zero.

Ahead of the ferry’s launch, May­or Adams and the Trust launched a city­wide com­pe­ti­tion to name the new ves­sel. All New York­ers are invit­ed to par­tic­i­pate by sug­gest­ing names on the Gov­er­nors Island web­site from today until May 25, 2023, with the final name expect­ed to be announced in sum­mer of 2023. The new fer­ry will begin trans­port­ing pas­sen­gers to Gov­er­nors Island in sum­mer of 2024.

Vis­it­ing Gov­er­nors Island is a great way to sup­port cut­ting-edge cli­mate solu­tions, and soon, vis­i­tors will be able to go one step fur­ther just by trav­el­ing there,” said May­or Adams. As New York­ers tran­si­tion to green­er forms of trans­porta­tion, the city and our part­ners are lead­ing the way with clean­er, more effi­cient ways to go just about any­where. The next gen­er­a­tion deserves a green city and a vibrant Gov­er­nors Island, and this first-of-its-kind fer­ry will help us deliv­er both.”

Gov­er­nors Island con­tin­ues its com­mit­ment to a more acces­si­ble and envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly future, exem­pli­fied in today’s announce­ment of the first hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry in its fleet for pub­lic trans­porta­tion,” said Deputy May­or for Eco­nom­ic and Work­force Devel­op­ment Maria Tor­res-Springer. I encour­age all New York­ers to use this new, clean­er fer­ry to vis­it the island in New York Har­bor begin­ning next sum­mer.”

This hybrid fer­ry marks a his­toric step for­ward in expand­ing access to Gov­er­nors Island while pro­mot­ing state-of-the-art and sus­tain­able tech­nol­o­gy to pow­er our fer­ry fleet,” said Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Pres­i­dent and CEO New­man. Each year, hun­dreds of thou­sands of vis­i­tors board our ves­sels and jour­ney to Gov­er­nors Island to expe­ri­ence our rich recre­ation­al, cul­tur­al, and edu­ca­tion­al resources. We are thrilled to make the jour­ney eas­i­er for our vis­i­tors while help­ing to lead the charge in elec­tri­fy­ing the ves­sels of New York Har­bor.”

The new fer­ry will have capac­i­ty to serve up to 1,200 pas­sen­gers at a time. It has a cruis­ing speed of 10 knots and fea­tures mod­ern pas­sen­ger ameni­ties, includ­ing a low­er-lev­el ADA-acces­si­ble lounge and restrooms on each lev­el.

It will replace the diesel-pow­ered Lt. Samuel S. Coursen, the Trust’s cur­rent vehi­cle and pas­sen­ger fer­ry, which was com­mis­sioned by the U.S. Army in 1956 and has been in con­tin­u­ous use since.

Elliott Bay Design Group designed the hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry and will pro­vide tech­ni­cal sup­port ser­vices to the Trust as the fer­ry pro­gress­es through con­struc­tion. The fer­ry is under con­struc­tion at Con­rad Shipyard’s facil­i­ty in Mor­gan City, Louisiana.

All aboard for health­i­er air and a reduc­tion in the emis­sions that are caus­ing cli­mate change,” said Chief Cli­mate Offi­cer and New York City Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sion­er Rohit T. Aggar­wala. In order to slow the changes in our cli­mate that we are already see­ing, such as record-break­ing and dead­ly storms, we must have all hands on deck, and we applaud today’s announce­ment from May­or Adams and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island.”

I can’t wait to ride my city’s first pub­lic, hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry, which will offer a scenic ride to Gov­er­nors Island’s future Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions, as we enjoy clean­er air and our city’s great­est phys­i­cal asset: its water,” said Mayor’s Office of Cli­mate and Envi­ron­men­tal Jus­tice Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Kizzy Charles-Guz­man. This is a shin­ing exam­ple of New York City lead­ing by exam­ple.”

Fer­ries are a vital part of trans­porta­tion infra­struc­ture, last­ing 40 to 60 years or more. At Elliott Bay Design Group we work close­ly with our clients and their teams to ensure the ves­sel is fit for pur­pose and engi­neered to match a long life,” said John W. Water­house, prin­ci­pal in charge, Elliott Bay Design Group. The best clients are those that tru­ly col­lab­o­rate, so the result­ing ves­sel shows the best of design­er and client. Work­ing with the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island has been a real plea­sure. We believe the ves­sel will be a reli­able com­po­nent in deliv­er­ing the Gov­er­nors Island expe­ri­ence to vis­i­tors.”

We are excit­ed to build and deliv­er this fer­ry to the peo­ple of New York City,” said John­ny Con­rad, chair­man and CEO, Con­rad Ship­yard. Since Gov­er­nors Island is acces­si­ble only by fer­ry, we are proud that the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island has select­ed us to play such a vital role in its growth and progress. This fer­ry will be the first-ever hybrid vehi­cle and pas­sen­ger fer­ry in New York Har­bor. Con­rad is proud to be at the fore­front of alter­nate ener­gy solu­tions in the marine indus­try.”

In the over 20 years since I worked to secure the sale of Gov­er­nors Island to New York state from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment for only $1, the island has con­tin­ued to trans­form into a dynam­ic escape where New York­ers can learn, work, and play,” said U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jer­rold Nadler. Today’s intro­duc­tion of hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry ser­vice marks anoth­er step in this trans­for­ma­tion and under­scores the island’s part in com­bat­ting the cli­mate cri­sis. I look for­ward to the ferry’s inau­gur­al launch in 2024 and see­ing New York­ers take advan­tage of all Gov­er­nors Island has to offer.”

As we move our trains and bus­es into the 21st cen­tu­ry, it is imper­a­tive we do the same for our fer­ry ser­vice,” said New York State Sen­a­tor Nathalia Fer­nan­dez. I applaud this ini­tia­tive by the city as we are improv­ing con­di­tions for rid­ers as well as reduc­ing emis­sions by near­ly 600 tons per year. I look for­ward to its maid­en voy­age in 2024 and the win­ner of the nam­ing com­pe­ti­tion!”

We need to com­bat cli­mate change now to improve everyone’s health and save our plan­et. New York City is lead­ing the charge through inno­v­a­tive elec­tri­fi­ca­tion meth­ods to reduce car­bon diox­ide emis­sions,” said New York State Assem­bly­mem­ber Rod­neyse Bichotte Her­me­lyn. I applaud May­or Eric Adams and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for imple­ment­ing our city’s first hybrid fer­ry, which will cut down emis­sions — and even­tu­al­ly elim­i­nate them entire­ly — while also mod­ern­iz­ing and improv­ing our pub­lic tran­sit sys­tem that mil­lions of New York­ers rely on.”

With today’s launch of New York City’s first hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry, May­or Adams is lead­ing our city to a sus­tain­able, zero-emis­sions future,” said New York State Assem­bly­mem­ber Jenifer Rajku­mar. Deploy­ing this first-of-its-kind fer­ry will get New York­ers where we need to go with 600 few­er tons of car­bon emis­sions annu­al­ly and less air pol­lu­tion. Before long, we will install infra­struc­ture that will bring emis­sions and air pol­lu­tion down to almost zero. I am pleased to part­ner with May­or Adams and my Albany col­leagues to pro­mote the phas­ing in of zero-emis­sion vehi­cles and renew­able ener­gy. Togeth­er, we will reach our goal of reduc­ing statewide green­house gas emis­sions to 60 per­cent of 1990 lev­els by 2030 and ulti­mate­ly down to zero.”

New York City’s need for sus­tain­able trans­porta­tion is not just lim­it­ed to its roads — our water­ways need green invest­ment too,” said New York State Assem­bly­mem­ber Grace Lee. As a mem­ber of the Assembly’s com­mit­tee on Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion, I wel­come the announce­ment of the city’s first hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry, and I encour­age fur­ther devel­op­ment of projects that will make our city liv­able for future gen­er­a­tions.”

It is great to see the expan­sion of the fer­ry ser­vice in an envi­ron­men­tal­ly con­scious way,” said New York State Assem­bly­mem­ber Michael Novakhov. I look for­ward to see­ing fur­ther expan­sion of ser­vice cov­er­age deep­er into my dis­trict in Brook­lyn as well as year-round ser­vice to Coney Island.”

All New York­ers deserve to breathe clean air,” said New York City Coun­cil Major­i­ty Whip Sel­ve­na N. Brooks-Pow­ers, chair, Com­mit­tee on Trans­porta­tion and Infra­struc­ture. Green­ing New York’s ves­sels and vehi­cles will reduce emis­sions and ben­e­fit com­mu­ni­ties city­wide. I thank the admin­is­tra­tion for their focus on the city’s foot­print as we con­tin­ue to work toward a car­bon-neu­tral New York.”

This new hybrid fer­ry is not only cre­at­ing greater access to one of our city’s gems, but reduc­ing car­bon emis­sions at the same time,” said New York City Coun­cilmem­ber Aman­da Farías. Its abil­i­ty to serve up to 1,200 pas­sen­gers at a time is anoth­er win for our local econ­o­my, allow­ing native New York­ers and tourists alike to enjoy one of our city’s most unique des­ti­na­tions. Thank you to May­or Eric Adams and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for this inno­v­a­tive solu­tion that I hope inspires more hybrid fer­ries in New York City.”

As we con­tin­ue our mis­sion to cre­ate a more sus­tain­able future for New York City, the intro­duc­tion of this ground­break­ing hybrid fer­ry marks a major mile­stone in our efforts to reduce emis­sions and com­bat cli­mate change,” said New York City Coun­cilmem­ber Rita Joseph. With this new ves­sel, we are set­ting a new stan­dard for pub­lic trans­porta­tion in the city and demon­strat­ing that we can pri­or­i­tize both envi­ron­men­tal respon­si­bil­i­ty and reli­able ser­vice for our com­mu­ni­ties.”

I con­grat­u­late May­or Adams and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island on intro­duc­ing New York City’s first-of-its-kind hybrid fer­ry,” said New York City Coun­cilmem­ber James F. Gen­naro, chair, Com­mit­tee on Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, Resilien­cy, and Water­fronts. This new hybrid fer­ry will not only bridge the gap between sus­tain­abil­i­ty and effi­cien­cy, but also open up a new hori­zon of pos­si­bil­i­ties for trans­porta­tion, where both the envi­ron­ment and pas­sen­gers can ben­e­fit from reduced car­bon emis­sions.”

There is no going back,” said Tam­my Meltzer, chair, Man­hat­tan Com­mu­ni­ty Board 1. The peo­ple of Low­er Man­hat­tan have been call­ing for clean, qui­et fer­ries for as long as I can remem­ber, and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island is set to deliv­er. The bar has been raised, and we now look to our part­ners in gov­ern­ment to help the Trust secure the fund­ing need­ed to install a charg­ing ele­ment to their Man­hat­tan slip to real­ize the full ben­e­fits of this ves­sel. This may be the first hybrid ves­sel in ser­vice in our har­bor, but it won’t be the last. We hope that every oper­a­tor will fol­low the Trust’s lead for all future pur­chas­es and major over­hauls.”

RPA applauds the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island for tak­ing the lead on green­er trans­porta­tion modes with the city’s first hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry,” said Tom Wright, pres­i­dent and CEO, Region­al Plan Asso­ci­a­tion (RPA). Easy pub­lic access to Gov­er­nors Island is vital and an issue RPA has staunch­ly advo­cat­ed for more than three decades. We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work with the Trust to advance the city and region’s envi­ron­men­tal goals through this ini­tia­tive and the forth­com­ing Cli­mate Solu­tions Cen­ter pro­pos­al.”

We applaud New York City May­or Eric Adams and Trust for Gov­er­nors Island Pres­i­dent and CEO Clare New­man for intro­duc­ing the first pub­lic, hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry in New York Har­bor,” said Julie Tighe, pres­i­dent, New York League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers. As we move to clean up our trans­porta­tion sec­tor, this excit­ing new ves­sel will not only reduce emis­sions by approx­i­mate­ly 600 tons annu­al­ly com­pared to its pre­de­ces­sor — and that’s just for starters — it will also allow pas­sen­gers to breathe clean­er air while serv­ing as a green and gor­geous reminder that we’re putting fos­sil fuels behind us.”

The new hybrid fer­ry to serve Gov­er­nors Island, the first of its kind in the New York Har­bor, is a sign of all that is pos­si­ble for New York City and our region’s water-based tran­sit net­work,” said Cort­ney Koenig Wor­rall, pres­i­dent and CEO, Water­front Alliance. Low-emis­sions fer­ries are a boon for hun­dreds of thou­sands of locals and tourists, espe­cial­ly chil­dren, who will ben­e­fit from clean air when rid­ing on the water. We are excit­ed about the island’s Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solu­tions and that the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island is set­ting an exam­ple of sus­tain­abil­i­ty for oth­er fer­ry sys­tems around the har­bor.”

Trust for Pub­lic Land applauds Gov­er­nors Island for adopt­ing more sus­tain­able access to this unique pub­lic space, which includes a TPL-invest­ed com­mu­ni­ty climb­ing boul­der to intro­duce more New York­ers to the out­doors,” said Carter Strick­land, vice pres­i­dent, Mid-Atlantic region and New York state direc­tor, Trust for Pub­lic Land (TPL). We know parks make cities more resilient and that access for all is essen­tial, and that is why the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island’s for­ward-think­ing lead­er­ship today is so impor­tant in show­ing that trans­porta­tion and access to parks can be green­er and more sus­tain­able.”

Gov­er­nors Island is an oasis and Low­er Manhattan’s back­yard,” said Jes­si­ca Lap­pin, pres­i­dent, Alliance for Down­town New York. Noth­ing beats spend­ing a day on the island any time of year. Whether you are going to an event, enjoy­ing a spa expe­ri­ence, or tak­ing a bike ride with friends and fam­i­ly, get­ting there is eas­i­er than ever, and we’re excit­ed that an envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly and inno­v­a­tive solu­tion has been found to increase pub­lic access.”

The Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School com­mu­ni­ty is excit­ed to learn that our new dai­ly com­mute is head­ing in the direc­tion of zero emis­sions with the intro­duc­tion of this new hybrid-fer­ry,” said Jef­frey Che­tirko, prin­ci­pal, Urban Assem­bly New York Har­bor School. Gov­er­nors Island is con­tin­u­ing its mis­sion to be at the fore­front of cli­mate solu­tions and is teach­ing our stu­dents, first­hand, the impor­tance of mak­ing pos­i­tive changes today for a clean­er tomor­row.”

Bil­lion Oys­ter Project and I wel­come this excit­ing announce­ment by May­or Adams and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and what it means for our Gov­er­nors Island com­mu­ni­ty,” said Pete Mali­nows­ki, exec­u­tive direc­tor, Bil­lion Oys­ter Project. As long-term ten­ants work­ing towards a more sus­tain­able city and har­bor front, improve­ments like the hybrid fer­ry demon­strate a prac­ti­cal approach to bring­ing sus­tain­abil­i­ty to all areas of our water­front lives.”

The new hybrid fer­ry is vision­ary, tak­ing our city to anoth­er lev­el of pub­lic engage­ment and deep­en­ing New York City’s con­tri­bu­tion to the glob­al con­ver­sa­tion of cli­mate jus­tice and urban resilience,” said Craig T. Peter­son, pres­i­dent, Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil and The Arts Cen­ter at Gov­er­nors Island. The Trust’s ini­tia­tive pro­vides more vis­i­tors with access to the rich vari­ety of arts, edu­ca­tion­al, and recre­ation­al expe­ri­ences avail­able on the island. More impor­tant­ly, it embod­ies a com­mit­ment to sus­tain­able cli­mate solu­tions in prac­tice.”

The Gov­er­nors Island fer­ry is an essen­tial part of the trans­porta­tion infra­struc­ture con­nect­ing the Insti­tute for Pub­lic Architecture’s Block House and our fel­lows, staff, and vis­i­tors with the vibrant urban com­mu­ni­ties of New York City,” said Jonathan Kirschen­feld AIA, founder and pres­i­dent, Insti­tute for Pub­lic Archi­tec­ture; and Janet Fink AIA LEED AP, inter­im exec­u­tive direc­tor, Insti­tute for Pub­lic Archi­tec­ture. We are delight­ed that the city and Trust for Gov­er­nors Island are lead­ing the way towards a decar­bonized, sus­tain­able, mul­ti-modal future with the announce­ment of this first pub­lic, hybrid-elec­tric fer­ry.”

We can’t wait to wel­come our vis­i­tors to Gov­er­nors Island aboard New York Harbor’s first pub­lic hybrid fer­ry,” said Pat­ti Davis, inter­im exec­u­tive direc­tor, Friends of Gov­er­nors Island. It’s fit­ting that this new, envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly fer­ry will be serv­ing Gov­er­nors Island, New York City’s top des­ti­na­tion for nature lovers and cli­mate solu­tions. This new fer­ry is a game-chang­er and a giant leap for­ward in our ongo­ing effort to reduce our car­bon footprint.”