NYC Ferry seeks sponsorships to boost funding and affordability

For now, the name is NYC Ferry. However, Executive Director James Wong says the agency is actively searching for a brand sponsor.

Edric Robinson

Jul 8, 2024, 10:02 PM

Updated 13 days ago

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Some changes could be coming to NYC Ferry - the city’s Economic Development Corporation is looking for companies to sponsor the system.
This means new names and potentially more money for the city.
“We are looking at brand names that can help us as we continue to forge ahead,” said James Wong, executive director of NYC Ferry.
For now, the name is NYC Ferry. However, Wong says the agency is actively searching for a brand sponsor, which isn’t a new concept.
“We’ve seen great examples in other parts of the world. We’ve seen Uber Boat in London or CitiBike right here in NYC where brands and transit properties work together to create value and to help support the system,” Wong explained.
It's considered a big step in Mayor Eric Adams’ plan to make the ferry system more affordable and sustainable.
“The heart of this program is making sure that the system is equitable. Equal is not equitable. It’s about being equitable and that’s what we’re doing,” said Mayor Adams at a news conference for the Ferry Forward Initiative.
Back in 2022, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander released an audit report which revealed the ferry is very costly. The audit showed that the former administration underreported its costs. The agency spent $758 million from 2015 to 2021. The current administration says the Ferry Forward program’s goal is to help drive down costs - finding a name sponsor is one way to achieve that.
“We do things like driving ridership, which increases fares and drives down the subsidy,” Wong added.
More passengers help the ferry earn more from ticket sales, which reduces the support it needs. Wong says the open call for companies interested in sending their proposals for sponsorship is available until July 25.
“We really encourage them to visit edc.nyc to find out more about how to participate in this RFP,” Wong said.


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