NEW YORK CITY - New York City's new ferry service launched its fourth and final route of the year Monday morning, giving commuters another option to get to and from work.
The Astoria route of the ferry connects western Queens and Roosevelt Island to parts of Manhattan.
The city has rolled out three routes since May that have been wildly successful.
The latest route could drastically reduce the commute time for thousands of people heading into Manhattan.
It departs Astoria, heads to Roosevelt Island, goes back to Long Island City, then across to East 34th Street and finally down to Wall Street, all for the same price of a subway ride.
For many in the area, it can be a 20-minute walk just to get to the subway.
"Through this ferry we're going to get more services, more infrastructure, everything that we need," said Richard Khuzami of the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was on hand to greet passengers at the 34th Street stop with reason to smile: Since May, 1.5 million passengers have ridden the NYC Ferry system, far more than anticipated, accomplished by tapping into an underused resource.
"Our streets are too crowded, our subways are too crowded. Our waterways are nice and open and that's why we knew we had to get back to the water," said the mayor.
The New York City ferry is averaging 12,000 passengers a day, and this route could add another 1,800 passengers. The city is promising to add capacity to some of the routes that have already experienced long lines.
Two additional routes are expected to be rolled out next year.
The first commuter ferry, the "Urban Journey," took off in May from the new Rockaways route offering service between Beach 108th Street, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and Wall Street's Pier 11.