LOWER MANHATTAN (PIX11) – The Staten Island Ferry was forced to run hourly service during the peak commute Friday morning, and service has remained partially delayed throughout the evening.

As of 2 p.m., service has been operating on a modified schedule every 30 minutes, according to the New York City Department of Transportation.

Boats normally run every 15 minutes. A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation said many captains, assistant captains, and mates called out sick on Thursday, which has impacted service.

A full crew – one captain, one assistant and three mates – is needed to operate a boat safely. About 70,000 people take the Staten Island Ferry every day.

The callouts come amid an ongoing labor contract dispute between the city and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, which represents many of the men and women who run the ferries.

It was not immediately clear on Friday whether the sick-outs were a form of protest by crew members who have been working under an expired union contract for 12 years.

A similar service disruption occurred in August 2022. At the time, Mayor Eric Adams had said a “significant share” of the Staten Island Ferry workforce did not show up for work, resulting in a temporary reduction to ferry service.