STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) – Staten Islanders will want to anticipate some significant disruptions to ferry service starting Wednesday afternoon.
A “significant share” of the Staten Island Ferry workforce did not come into work Wednesday, resulting in a temporary reduction to ferry service, according to Mayor Eric Adams.
Staten Island Ferry service will now run hourly from 3 p.m. Wednesday until at least 5 a.m. Thursday, Adams said. During that time, ferries will leave from St. George Terminal on Staten Island on the hour and from Whitehall Terminal in Manhattan on the half-hour.
“We hope Staten Island Ferry service will return to regular operations with 15-minute service beginning at 5 a.m. [Thursday],” Adams said.
It appears that the massive staff callout on Wednesday had to do with union negotiations, which the mayor said has been ongoing for 11 years now. Adams called on the Staten Island Ferry workers to come back to work.
“If you are not sick, New Yorkers need you to come back to work,” Adams said. “We will continue to engage with these ferry workers’ union to reach a voluntary, pattern-conforming agreement in the same way that we have done with virtually all other city unions for these rounds of bargaining.”
PIX11 News reached out to the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association trade union for comment and is awaiting a response.
New Yorkers advised to take alternative routes to Staten Island
To help mitigate the service disruption, NYC Ferry is offering a free direct ferry between Battery Maritime Building Slip 5 in Manhattan to the NYC Ferry St. George Terminal landing on Staten Island. It is running about every 15 minutes, officials said. This service will end at 10 p.m. and resume at 6:30 a.m. Thursday.
Additionally, the MTA is increasing bus service to Staten Island beginning at 3 p.m. Increased express bus service will be provide on the SIM1/SIM1C (Hylan Boulevard), SIM3/SIM3C (Port Richmond) and SIM4/SIM4C (Richmond Avenue).
Customers can also take a Brooklyn-bound R train from Whitehall Street-South Ferry to 86th Street and 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. From there, they can go to Staten Island by taking the S79 SBS, S53 or S93 bus.
“We are prepared to help customers get to and from Staten Island safely and efficiently during this Staten Island Ferry service disruption,” MTA Acting Chief Customer Officer Shanifah Rieara said in a statement. “The MTA will be communicating our bolstered service through social media, across digital screens, our website, along with additional staff present at the ferry terminal to direct riders to the route that’s best for them.”