The city is introducing a new battery-powered ferry, the first of its kind in the five boroughs, Mayor Eric Adams and the Trust for Governors Island announced on Monday.
The hybrid-electric public ferry will travel between lower Manhattan and Governors Island on the New York Harbor starting next summer, according to the mayor's office.
A hybrid propulsion system will power the vessel, reducing air pollution with a battery system that can "toggle between zero-emission battery-only power and battery-assisted hybrid with diesel backup," the mayor's office said in a press release.
The city says the battery-assist mode will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 600 tons annually. Eventually, the city plans to install "rapid vessel charging," which will enable the ferry to run fully on battery power and reduce its emissions to "nearly zero."
The ferry will serve up to 1,200 passengers at a time and will have an Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible lounge and restrooms on each level, according to the mayor's office.
The mayor's office says the new ferry, which will replace a diesel-powered ship named after Lt. Samuel S. Coursen, will have a cruising speed of 10 knots. The ferry will be operated by the Trust for Governors Island. NYC Ferry also has service to Governors Island, running a South Brooklyn route that makes stops on the Lower East Side and along the Brooklyn waterfront.
"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," Adams said in a release.
"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," Trust for Governors Island President and CEO Clare Newman added.
Ahead of the ferry's launch, there will be a citywide competition to name the new ship. New Yorkers can suggest a name for the ferry on the Governors Island website from Monday until May 25. The name will likely be announced this summer, the mayor's office said.
According to the Travel and Climate initiative, almost all ferries run on fossil fuels. They generate high emissions — almost twice as high per passenger kilometer than flights — and are a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.