For thousands of city commuters, a big surprise: their cost of going to and from work is actually going down. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

The privately run East River Ferry is gone, along with its $4 weekday fare. It has been replaced by the municipally run NYC Ferry, which charges $2.75 a trip.

"I think it's great," said one commuter. "I think it really makes the ferry more accessible. And honestly, I'll take it a lot more often than just taking the subways."

At least for those in waterfront neighborhoods like Long Island City. That was the hope when the city announced it was taking over the East River service from New York Waterway and reducing the fare by $1.25.

"It's so much better. It's so much better," said one commuter.

The East River Ferry has been running for six years. The city is incorporating it into its new NYC Ferry service, which debuted Monday with a route linking the Rockaways in Queens, Sunset Park in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. NYC Ferry will roll out more routes starting next month.

For long-time East River Ferry riders, the new $2.75 fare has been a pleasant surprise.

"To see something drop, it's a relief for a change," said one commuter.

"I figured with the new boats, it would cost more, they'd have to cover the costs somehow," said another.

The city is spending $325 million on its fleet of 20 new ferries, plus ferry slips, spending which amounts to a city subsidy of $6.60 per ride.

Now, the challenge for the city is to buld the number of ferry riders. 

On day one of the new service, 6,400 people took the ferries, nearly a third of them on the new Rockaway route. Rockaway residents there had been clamoring for the return of ferry service since a previous route got cut in 2014.

Ridership on the East River routes peaked in 2016, with close to 1.6 million rides, up 8 percent from the previous year. City officials are optimistic that figure will keep rising as the price of a ride is dropped.

Those who previously used the East River ferry service on occasion said the price, and the sights, may turn them into regulars.

"I'm using this occasionally. I'm using it on nice days, because who can beat being outside on a beautiful day?" said one commuter.

And a beautiful view, at a new, lower price.