New Staten Island Ferries May Nix Outdoor Seats

NEW YORK (AP) -

The city Department of Transportation is considering designs for three new Staten Island ferryboats that omit outdoor seating.

It currently has eight boats, including four without outdoor seats that were launched in the 1980s.

The Staten Island Advance reports those four would be retired, along with the fleet’s oldest boat, the John F. Kennedy, launched in 1965.

A preliminary design done for the city by KPFF Consulting Engineers recommends purchase of three new boats for just under $90 million each. KPFF’s report notes that outdoor seating is very popular with commuters and tourists.

The city says public outreach will be conducted before the boats are built. They would be delivered in 2018.

The ferry carries over 21 million passengers annually on a 5.2-mile run between Staten Island and Manhattan.