Mayor Bill de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Trottenberg Announce Full-Implementation of 30-Minute Staten Island Ferry Service

October 1, 2015

Half hour service around the clock scheduled to begin today, Thursday, October 1

Rush-hour schedule will stay the same, 30-minute service at all other times

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, and Borough President James Oddo announced today the full implementation of expanded 30-minute Staten Island Ferry Service effective October 1, 2015. The de Blasio administration’s new service standard, funded by the City, will ensure the ferries depart at intervals no longer than every half hour, a huge improvement for late-night and early morning commuters and travelers who have previously waited as long as an hour for boats. The Staten Island Ferry moves 70,000 passengers on weekdays and 22 million people a year between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan.

The new service schedule has additional trips starting at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday. The first trip is departing from St. George terminal at 1:30 a.m. and from Whitehall terminal at 2 a.m.

“Every Staten Islander has had that experience of missing the ferry and waiting an hour for the next one to pull in. Today, that’s a thing of the past. Ferries will depart St. George and Lower Manhattan at least every thirty minutes, and that means easier commutes, better business and stronger tourism on both sides of New York harbor,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are proud to work with Borough President Oddo and all our Staten Island officials to bring this new service on line.”

“I am pleased to announce that as of this morning the Staten Island Ferry provides overnight service every 30 minutes from Whitehall and St. George," said Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “The de Blasio Administration heard Staten Islanders loud and clear and is providing the additional overnight ferry trips to better serve them.”

“I drafted and introduced this legislation in the last year of my City Council term after meeting with Richenda Kramer and Nicholas Zvegintzov of the St. George Civic Association’s Ferry Riders Committee. During that meeting, we discussed the importance of the Staten Island Ferry for residents and business owners, and the fact that the schedule, which included hour-long waits at various times, would not be tolerated in the other boroughs. We saw it then and we continue to see it as a matter of equity for our mass transit-starved borough. This represents the final phase in of Local Law 88, and it will help us further unleash the economic development potential of the North Shore, as well as make life a little easier for all those Staten Islanders who work non-traditional schedules or wish to experience all that Manhattan has to offer. It will also help encourage folks from off Staten Island to visit our borough and experience our attractions without the fear of narrowly missing the ferry ride home and being forced to wait an hour in the terminal,” said Borough President James Oddo. “Thank you to Mayor de Blasio. Through his cooperation and collaboration on this issue, again he has demonstrated his commitment to our borough. The recently released ridership numbers have proven that when you add additional service, riders will utilize it. In this era of service cuts, it is not often that you see such a dramatic increase in service as we have seen in the last two years. The combination of our legislation and an Administration that was willing to work with Staten Island led us to this day. Let’s take advantage of the new service and use it!”    

“For Staten Islanders, the ship has come in and will continue to come in every 30 minutes, 7 days a week, thanks to Mayor de Blasio, the Staten Island delegation, the Borough President, and timely effective help that I was proud to deliver. After securing federal funding for two new modern, more resilient and reliable ferry boats, New York City has freed up the operating funds needed to provide this additional ferry service on Staten Island,” said Senator Charles Schumer.

“Staten Islanders have one of the longest and most difficult commutes of any workers in New York City, and extending ferry service will help alleviate the time and cost of travel,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “This additional service is good news that will improve the quality of life for Staten Islanders and make Staten Island’s fantastic businesses more accessible.”

“Ferry commuters can breathe a sigh of relief now that their longest wait will be 30 minutes. I’m grateful to the administration for implementing added service, and I look forward to collaborating with the city and the state on implementing creative solutions to Staten Island’s many other transportation challenges,” said Congressman Daniel Donovan.

“This expanded ferry service is long overdue, but extremely welcome. I am pleased this administration recognized that Staten Island commuters, especially those who work late hours or weekends, need safe and efficient transportation service every day, at all hours, and worked with Borough President Oddo and my Council colleagues to make this a reality,” said City Council Minority Leader Steve Matteo.

“This is a historic day for the Staten Island Ferry and Staten Islanders, one that we have been fighting for for years. I thank all my colleagues in government who joined me to make hour-long ferry waits a thing of the past. This additional service further integrates Staten Island into the transportation network of the metropolitan area, which will serve our residents for years to come. Recent ridership data has shown that increased ferry service encourages more people to utilize this free transportation option, and I expect to see that trend continue, especially as we move forward with several waterfront projects here on the North Shore”, said Council Member Deborah Rose.

“As a vital lifeline for the nearly half million residents of Staten Island, I applaud the efforts made by the de Blasio administration as well as Borough President Oddo for the expansion of Ferry service to every half hour, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. It is well documented that Staten Island suffers from transportation woes both large and small, and it is always encouraging to see real progress being made to ease our travel burden,” said Assembly Member Michael Cusick.

“It was very important that we increased funding for the Staten Island Ferry in the state budget and I'm pleased that the Mayor and the DOT will implement this service expansion for both Staten Islanders and visitors to enjoy.  Once the envisioned North Shore development comes to be, this additional service will be even more critical to both increase tourism, our economic activity, and reduce congestion on roads,” said Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis.

“I am glad Mayor de Blasio has listened to Staten Islanders and instituted round-the-clock half hour ferry service. Previous increases in late night frequency have led to increased ridership, as will the current expansion. Frequency and reliability are important factors in getting people to use public transportation, and knowing they will not have a long wait in the middle of the night will get more people to use the boat instead of driving into Manhattan. All in all, it goes to show you, if you schedule it, we will ride,” said Assembly Member Matthew Titone.

"I applaud Mayor de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Trottenberg on the announcement of the expansion of the Staten Island Ferry schedule. Water transportation is a crucial way out city connects to communities often disconnected to transportation options. This expansion will go a long way in improving the capacity and convenience for commuters who live or work in Staten Island" said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Committee on Transportation.

Local Law 88, passed by the City Council, authorized a feasibility study into establishing 30-minute service, after which the de Blasio administration committed to making 30-minute service a reality earlier this year. Initial expansion began on May 1 with six new round trips per week, one each on Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights and three on Sunday morning.

DOT wants to remind New Yorkers and visitors alike that the Staten Island service is free of charge. Cars, motorcycles and trucks are no longer allowed on the ferries. Travel time between Whitehall and Saint George terminals and vice versa is approximately 25 minutes.

Holiday service will follow the weekend schedule. Also, the weekend schedule is provided on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

All schedules are subject to change without notice. For periods of reduced visibility or heavy weather, schedule may be adjusted.

In Staten Island, riders can get to the St. George Terminal using the following MTA/NYCT bus lines: S40 Howland Hook; S42 Clyde Place; S44 Staten Island Mall; S46 West Shore Plaza; S48 Mariners Harbor; S51 Grant City; S52 S.I. Univ. Hospital; S61 Staten Island Mall; S62 Travis; S66 Port Richmond; S74 Tottenville; S76 Oakwood Beach; S78 Tottenville; S81 Grant City (Limited); S84 Tottenville (Limited); S86 Oakwood Beach (Limited); S90 Howland Hook (Limited); S91 Staten Island Mall (Limited); S92 Travis (Limited); S94 Staten Island Mall (Limited); S96 Mariners Harbor (Limited); and S98 Mariners Harbor (Limited).

In Manhattan, riders can get to the Whitehall Terminal using the M5, M15, M15SBS, M20 bus service lines, and the R train to Whitehall Street Station, the 1 train to South Ferry Station, the 4 and 5 train to Bowling Green Station, and the J and Z train to Broad Street Station.

For more information visit nyc.gov/siferry, and for updates, please check nyc.gov/dot or contact 311.

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