Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that the Staten Island Ferry will return to 30-minute service frequency during the morning (5:00am – 9:00am) and evening (3:30pm – 7:30pm) rush hours beginning Thursday, May 21st.
“The Staten Island Ferry keeps this city running,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Restoring half-hour service during morning and evening rush hours will help essential workers fight this crisis on the front lines, and I’m grateful for every ferry worker’s efforts to offer Staten Islanders safe and reliable transit throughout this crisis.”
“As Staten Island Ferry ridership rebounds and our crews are increasingly healthy and back on the job, we pleased to restore more frequent rush-hour service — a hopeful sign that New York City is starting to recover from COVID-19,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We want to thank Staten Islanders for their understanding during this crisis and thank our dedicated ferry staff for all their hard work.”
The City reduced ferry service on March 30 to hourly rush hour service due to declining ridership. Since ridership has increased in recent weeks, now averaging about 8,000 passengers per day, an increase in service was deemed prudent.
The workforce of DOT employees, some of who were not able to work due to coronavirus, have returned, and the crews have been restored to allow adequate staffing during the rush hours and to continue to clean vessels between runs.
Passengers will be required to wear face coverings at all times while in the terminals and on board, and face coverings will be made available for passengers who arrive at the terminals without one.
The DOT reminds New Yorkers that the ferry should not be used for recreational or sightseeing purposes during the city’s fight against COVID-19, since staying home and avoiding all but essential travel remains the best way to help stop the spread of the disease.
“The Staten Island Ferry is a representation of our borough, and the increase in ridership shows how Staten Island is bouncing back from this crisis,” said Rep. Max Rose, who represents Staten Island in Congress.