Next Departures

From Staten Island:

 

From Manhattan:

 

Depart Staten Island

From St. George terminal

Weekday Schedule
AM PM
12:0012:00
12:3012:30
1:001:00
1:301:30
2:002:00
2:302:30
3:003:00
3:303:30
4:003:50
4:304:10
5:004:30
5:304:50
6:005:10
6:205:30
6:405:45
7:006:00
7:156:15
7:306:30
7:456:45
8:007:00
8:157:30
8:308:00
8:458:30
9:009:00
9:309:30
10:0010:00
10:3010:30
11:0011:00
11:3011:30
Weekend Schedule
AM PM
12:0012:00
12:3012:30
1:001:00
1:301:30
2:002:00
2:302:30
3:003:00
3:303:30
4:004:00
4:304:30
5:005:00
5:305:30
6:006:00
6:306:30
7:007:00
7:307:30
8:008:00
8:308:30
9:009:00
9:309:30
10:0010:00
10:3010:30
11:0011:00
11:3011:30
Holiday Schedule
AM PM
7:0012:00
7:3012:30
8:001:00
8:301:30
9:002:00
9:302:30
10:003:00
10:303:30
11:004:00
11:304:30
--5:00
--5:30
--6:00
--6:30
--7:00
--7:30
--8:00
--8:30
--9:00
--9:30
--10:00
--10:30
--11:00

Depart Manhattan

From Whitehall terminal

Weekday Schedule
AM PM
12:0012:00
12:3012:30
1:001:00
1:301:30
2:002:00
2:302:30
3:003:00
3:303:30
4:004:00
4:304:20
5:004:40
5:305:00
6:005:15
6:305:30
6:505:45
7:106:00
7:306:15
7:456:30
8:006:45
8:157:00
8:307:20
8:457:40
9:008:00
9:158:30
9:309:00
10:009:30
10:3010:00
11:0010:30
11:3011:00
--11:30
Weekend Schedule
AM PM
12:0012:00
12:3012:30
1:001:00
1:301:30
2:002:00
2:302:30
3:003:00
3:303:30
4:004:00
4:304:30
5:005:00
5:305:30
6:006:00
6:306:30
7:007:00
7:307:30
8:008:00
8:308:30
9:009:00
9:309:30
10:0010:00
10:3010:30
11:0011:00
11:3011:30
Holiday Schedule
AM PM
7:0012:00
7:3012:30
8:001:00
8:301:30
9:002:00
9:302:30
10:003:00
10:303:30
11:004:00
11:304:30
--5:00
--5:30
--6:00
--6:30
--7:00
--7:30
--8:00
--8:30
--9:00
--9:30
--10:00
--10:30
--11:00
--11:30

ABOUT THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY

Long ago, an extensive network of ferries was the only mode of transportation between Manhattan and other New York City boroughs. In the days before massive bridges touched the skyline, ships sailed the waters, connecting the hustle and bustle and shipping people to and from their destinations over the choppy waters that hug New York City.

The advent of vehicular transportation and construction of useful bridges have made ferries a non-essential transportation method in New York City. However, the Staten Island Ferry remains a robust and nostalgic means to travel between Staten Island and Manhattan.

Currently, the Staten Island Ferry transports over 22 million passengers annually, with one route offered between Whitehall Street in Manhattan and St. George on the shores of Staten Island. The New York City Department of Transportation currently maintains and operates a fleet of nine vintage ferry boats that make this voyage multiple times per day.

The Staten Island Ferry schedule runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has a stellar 96% punctuality rate. A government-owned municipal service for over 100 years, each boat uses Pomodoro time for its travels (25 minutes to traverse, five minutes to unload and load).

The ferry is run still with the initial goal of transporting Staten Island natives and visitors to and from the bustling Manhattan. As ferry travel has transitioned away from necessity and more to a tourism-centric industry, the five-mile travel has become an excellent place for beautiful views of the New York Harbor and skyline at no cost to travelers.

When well positioned on the deck of the Staten Island Ferry, a passenger will receive a picture-perfect view of both Ellis Island and the towering Statue of Liberty. Viewers can also turn to see the monstrous, towering Manhattan skyline.

At one time, the Staten Island Ferry transported vehicles from one port to the other (at a $3 per vehicle cost). While vehicular transportation is no longer an option (a security measure after the September 11th attacks), there is an expansive, exclusive area on the ground section of each ferry in the Staten Island Ferry fleet for bicyclist transport.

The weekend schedule has four boats being utilized with between 21 and 22 trips for each vessel. Weekday scheduling uses an additional vessel, allowing a maximum of 109 trips back and forth per day.

STATEN ISLAND FERRY – A STORIED PAST AND A TREASURED HISTORY

In the 1700’s, ferry services between New York City and Staten Island were conducted by individuals, not services. These people shuttled passengers to and fro with boats called periaugers, which were twin-masted sailboats commonly used for passenger travel throughout New York Harbor.

When the century turned, former New York governor and then-Vice President Daniel Tomkins enacted an agreement with the Turnpike Company of Richmond as a piece of a campaign to grow the small self-named village of Tompkinsville. The initial intention of this agreement was to develop a road system across Staten Island for carriages. At the start of the campaign, however, the Turnpike Company of Richmond was allowed the sole rights for ferry transportation to and from New York City. The Staten Island Ferry is a direct descendant of the Turnpike Company of Richmond’s ferry service.

In early 1817, Turnpike launched its first mechanical ferry vessel between New York and Staten Island. The steam ship Nautilus was commanded by Captain John DeForest (railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt’s brother-in-law), and fare to travel between the two harbors was two cents.

Twenty years after the maiden voyage of the Turnpike Company of Richmond’s ferry service, Cornelius Vanderbilt (who had been successfully branching out from rail into steamboat transportation) purchased of Turnpike’s company. Fifteen years later, Vanderbilt sold the growing ferry boat company to the Staten Island Railway, a conglomerate headed by his brother Jacob.

Throughout the 1850’s, Staten Island grew exponentially. Thus, travel on the Staten Island Ferry increased to support the new passenger load. The underwhelming and dilapidated boat conditions and limited scheduling of departures and arrivals were a pain point for travelers, so changes and expansions needed to be made.

In the early 1860’s, the Staten Island Railway became fully operational, and thus new boats were purchased to accommodate the additional passenger load. During this time, several of the older steam ships were dispatched south to assist with the efforts of the Civil War. These boats were never returned and were eventually also replaced with newer ships.

Over time, Vanderbilt purchased all competing ferry boat services in the New York Harbor, selling them off in 1884 to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. At this point, the ships began to operate under the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railroad system, which eventually was shortened to the Staten Island Railway.

CHANGES COME TO THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY SYSTEM IN THE 1900’S

In 1901, the Northfield ferry of the Staten Island Ferry system was hit by a Jersey Central ferry, and both boats sunk rapidly. The City of New York promptly seized control of the Staten Island Rapid Transit ferry system, stating the fact that Staten Island had been an official borough of New York City for quite some time at this point.

In 1905, after a complete redesign and refresh, the Staten Island Ferry system was resumed by the New York City Department of Ferries and Docks, with five new ferries built, one named after each of the city’s five boroughs.

In 1926, the long-lasting dull white color scheme of the Staten Island Ferry was changed to a brighter red-maroon color scheme. This was the standard for a few decades until it was decided to paint the vessels bright orange in the interest of safety. Now, the ships are easily seen by other ships in dense fog, storms, and snow.

HEROISM AND CALL TO ACTION OF THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY POST 9/11

Directly after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan, the Staten Island Ferry network jumped into immediate action, transporting thousands upon thousands of victims and escapees out of lower Manhattan safely to the shores of Staten Island. Heroic ferry captains accurately docked the boats with zero visibility due to debris and smoke clouding the skies.

In the weeks immediately following the attacks, the Staten Island Ferry schedule was modified, and passenger transportation was temporarily halted. Instead, the ferries transported firefighters, EMT’s, police, and other emergency personnel between Staten Island and Manhattan, allowing for faster travel due to immense traffic on the bridges leading to and from the two boroughs.

Additionally, the fleet was utilized for cargo transportation, moving both municipal and military equipment and personnel between Governor’s Island and Manhattan. (Please note that, even though during this time equipment with weights up to artillery tanks were transported, the Staten Island Ferry does not carry passenger vehicles).

As stated in the article "Staten Island Ferry: Quiet Hero of 9/11 in the San Francisco Bay Crossings":

Emergency workers and supplies were already assembling in Staten Island and orders were given to the John F. Kennedy to return at once and bring them to the disaster scene. She was on her way back to Manhattan within forty-five minutes, with hundreds of firefighters and other rescuers aboard frantically changing into their uniforms on the trip over. Abandoning their civilian clothes where they lay, they rushed from the ferry boat the moment it touched Manhattan, many to their deaths when the buildings collapsed soon after.

HOW THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY FARE BECAME FREE

In 1897, the need arose to gather funds to keep the Staten Island Ferry system afloat. For this reason, a fare of five cents per ride was enacted. Five cents in 1897 is the modern day equivalent of $1.50. 75 years later, in 1972, the fare was finally doubled to ten cents, the modern day equivalent of fifty-seven cents.

Three years later, in 1975, the fare rose from ten cents to twenty-five cents, and in August 1990 the fare for the Staten Island Ferry rose to its highest point, at 50 cents per voyage. On Independence Day 1997, the fare for traveling on the Staten Island Ferry was eliminated, a decision that remains to this day.

But why was the fare eliminated?

The New York City subway system connects Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx effortlessly. Many free bridges also run between these boroughs. Without the Staten Island Ferry, the only method of travel between Staten Island and mainland New York City is the toll-based Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. No free mode of transportation existed for these commuters, who represent 5% of the population of New York City.

As stated by Danny Choriki:

Most of the 70,000 or so daily riders work in Manhattan. They pay city taxes. That is a couple of thousand fewer cars a day coming into Manhattan and probably 100 buses less as well. Without the ferry, a lot of these people would move out of New York City.

THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY’S WHITEHALL TERMINAL – MANHATTAN

The Whitehall Terminal of the Staten Island Ferry is in lower Manhattan on the corner of 4 South Street and Whitehall Street. In 2005, the terminal underwent a complete renovation by former Whitehall Architectural Design director Ronald Evitts and Fred Schwartz, transforming into an integral hub of transportation for not only the ferry but also subways, buses, taxis, and bicycles.

The terminal, open around the clock for all passengers, handles a daily load of over 70 thousand passengers. Access points for the Whitehall Terminal include the New York City subway system (at the South Ferry – Whitehall Street station complex on the 1, 2, N, R, and W trains), the bus transit system via the Terminal and Minuit Plaza, and several connected bicycle lanes.

The Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal is also becoming a hub for shopping and entertainment. The total floor area of the terminal is over 200 thousand square feet, with 19,000 square feet of waiting space, 6,000 square feet of retail space, 10,000 square feet of ferry operations and dedicated support area, and 10,000 square feet of office space.

Additionally, with the opening of several new retail locations throughout the Whitehall Terminal, GrowNYC, a New York City based non-profit cooperative, has opened one of the city’s few indoor farmer's market at the terminal.

THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY’S ST. GEORGE TERMINAL – STATEN ISLAND

Staten Island Ferry’s St. George Terminal is in the St. George neighborhood on the shores of Staten Island. Conveniently located at the intersection of bustling Bay Street and Richmond Terrace, the terminal is located within walking distance of the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, the Richmond County Supreme Court, and the Staten Island Borough Hall. A direct rail-to-see connection port, the St. George Terminal is one of the last remaining rail-sea links in the USA.

The terminal, also open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for all passenger travel, houses the St. George rail station, the northernmost terminal of the main line of the Staten Island Railway. Unlike the Staten Island Ferry, which is free of charge, the St. George rail station requires a $2.75 fare on entry and exit.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of the state of New York operates a large number of bus routes throughout Staten Island, with the St. George Terminal being one of the most operational bus stops. Some bus routes descended directly from the old streetcar lines in Staten Island in the early to mid-1900’s.

Multiple large-scale developments are in various stages of development surrounding the St. George Terminal, including the St. George Waterfront Redevelopment Project. The project is described as follows:

The St. George Waterfront Redevelopment Project will transform the currently underutilized St. George Waterfront into a dynamic, mixed-use destination with the construction of the tallest observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere and a high-end outlet retail complex and hotel.

THE FUTURE OF THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY SYSTEM

Three of the current fleet of Staten Island Ferry boats (the Samuel I. Newhouse, the Andrew J. Barberi, and the John F. Kennedy) are slated for replacement in the next two years. The replacements ships will be over 300ft long and are named the Ollis class, after Staff Sargent Michal Ollis, a Staten Island native killed in action in Afghanistan.

The chosen bidder for the development of these three new vessels was Eastern Shipbuilding. The $300 million contract was signed this year, and delivery of the three new vessels to the Staten Island Ferry fleet is scheduled for 2019 and 2020.