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The Staten Island Ferry

Updated on March 21, 2013

The Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry and the Statue of Liberty.
Staten Island Ferry and the Statue of Liberty. | Source

Route of the Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry Route across Upper New York Bay.
Staten Island Ferry Route across Upper New York Bay. | Source

The Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry runs between the New York boroughs of Staten Island and Manhattan. It operates for free, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, transporting over 20 million people between the St. George ferry terminal, Staten Island and the Whitehall ferry terminal at South Ferry, Lower Manhattan.

The ferry is that rarest of things. A practical piece of local infrastructure that carries allows the population to go about there daily business whilst being an icon of the the tourist industry giving visitors unparalleled views of the New York waterfront and the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan..

Tourists can savor the views as the ferry chugs passed the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

Sharing the experience with New Yorkers as they lead their lives helps to bring the city into focus and makes for a fantastic experience.

And all for free.

Staten Island Ferry Terminal, Lower Manhatten

Whitehall Terminal, South Ferry, Lower Manhatten
Whitehall Terminal, South Ferry, Lower Manhatten | Source

Staten Island Ferry at night

Staten Island Ferry, 11th Feb, 2011
Staten Island Ferry, 11th Feb, 2011 | Source

Staten Island Ferry Stats

  • 75,000 passengers a day, average
  • 109 daily crossings
  • 33,000 annual crossings
  • The route is 5..2 miles
  • 25 minute crossing time
  • The New York City Department of Transport has run the service since 1905
  • From 1897 to 1975 the ferry journey cost a nickel
  • The round trip fare rose to a quarter in 1975, 50 cents in 1997 and was abandoned in 1997
  • 10 ferries run the route
  • The ferry stopped carrying vehicles after 9/11

MV John F. Kennedy

Statan Island Ferry John F. Kennedy with Verrazano Narrows Bridge in background.
Statan Island Ferry John F. Kennedy with Verrazano Narrows Bridge in background. | Source

Incidents and Accidents

There have been motor ferries of one sort or another running between Manhatten and Staten Island since 1817, and there have been been numerous incidents and accidents,

In 1871, 85 people were killed and hundreds more injured when the boiler of the ferry Westfield exploded and in 1901 the ferry Northfield sank after being hit by a Jersey Central Ferry. out of 995 passengers 5 were unaccounted for.

The Westfield disaster was the main reason the ferry service was taken over by the City in 1905.

Staten Island Ferry Incidents & Accidents in Modern Times

Date
Ferry
Incident
Feb 8th, 1958
Dongan Hills
Hit by the tanker Tynefield. 15 injured
Nov 7th 1978,
American Legion
Crashed into concrete wall near Statue of Liberty ferry port in fog. 173 injured
May 16th, 1981
American Legion
Rammed in fog by freighter
July 7th, 1986
Samuel I. Newhouse
A homeless Cuban refugee attacked passengers with a sword, killing 2 and wounding 9
April 12th, 1995
Andrew J. Barberi
Several passengers injured when the ferry rammed into the slipway at St.George ferry terminal
September 19th, 1997
John F. Kennedy
A car fell of the ferry as it docked. The driver and a member of crew who went overboard in the incident, were both slightly injured
Oct 15th, 2003
Andrew J. Barberi
The ferry hit a pier at the St. George Ferry Terminal killing 11, injuring many and ripping a hole through 3 passenger decks
July 1st, 2009
John J. Marchi
Ferry lost all power, hit the pier at the St. George Ferry Terminal. 15 injured.e
May 8th, 2010
Andrew J. Barberi
Reverse gear(thrust) failed approaching the St. George ferry Terminal. The ferry hit the dock, injuring 37

On Board the Staten Island Ferry

Walkway on the Staten Island Ferry.
Walkway on the Staten Island Ferry. | Source

Staten Island Ferries

  • Spirit of America
  • John J. Marchi
  • Guy V. Molinari
  • Samuel I. Newhouse
  • Andrew J. Barberi
  • John F. Kennedy
  • John Noble
  • Alice Austen
  • Michael Cosgrove
  • American legion

MV John J. Marchi

The Staten Island Ferry John J. Marchi
The Staten Island Ferry John J. Marchi | Source

Evening Ferry

Staten Island Ferry at Sunset
Staten Island Ferry at Sunset | Source

Staten Island Terminal Locations

A
St. George Ferry Terminal, Staten Island:
Staten Island Ferry, 4 South St, Staten Island, NY 10301, USA

get directions

B
South Ferry, Lower Manhatten:
South Ferry, New York, NY 10004, USA

get directions

Comments

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    • Horatio Plot profile imageAUTHOR

      Horatio Plot 

      6 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

      mpropp. I know, it's the mixture of it being free, such a part of New York and yet so much a staple of the tourist scene that makes it so intoxicating.

    • Horatio Plot profile imageAUTHOR

      Horatio Plot 

      6 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

      Yup, its free Nettlemere. If it way the UK we would no doubt pay. I base this on the fact that I just paid £0.20 to use the toilet at Richmond station.

    • Horatio Plot profile imageAUTHOR

      Horatio Plot 

      6 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

      Thanks Brainy. So next time you go you, can save that quarter and treat yourself! Thanks for commenting.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      My family has enjoyed the ferry ride on several times when we are visiting extended family in NY. It is a great way to be able to see lots of areas of NYC and get a great view of the Statue of Liberty also. We love it. And there aren't very many tourist attractions around that are still free! Thanks for the excellent history lesson and this very interesting hub!

    • Russell-D profile image

      Russell-D 

      6 years ago from Southern Ca.

      In 1947-7, as a teen ager our cheap Friday night date was riding the ferry to Staten Island & back. Nearing Staten Island, we got in the lifeboats, staying covered till we headed back. We nibbled home- made sandwiches, buying a nickel coke. Our cheap date had us twice passing the Statue of Liberty. If it was a beautiful star lit night we did Staten Island twice, free. David Russell

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 

      6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      I can't believe that something so useful to commuters and tourists is free. What a refreshing change!

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 

      6 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Gee, I haven't ridden the ferry since I was a kid (back when the fare was a quarter!). I didn't even know they got rid of the fare. Thanks for bringing back some memories. :-)

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