Half-hour SI Ferry service to resume in August after COVID budget cuts
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Twice-hourly service is coming back to the Staten Island Ferry after being cut during last year’s COVID-19 fiscal crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
Overnight ferry trips will return to the pre-pandemic 30-minute schedule on Aug. 16, the mayor said — more than a year after he nixed the overnight trips to save $6 million.
“The Staten Island Ferry is a lifeline for Staten Islanders. It is the way that people connect to so many things,” de Blasio said at a press briefing broadcast from City Hall.
“It is crucial that the service be there for Staten Islanders,” said the mayor, who called the ferry “one of the great attractions in the city.”
De Blasio shifted overnight ferry trips from every hour to every 30 minutes in 2015, after a years-long campaign by Staten Islanders.
But the mayor nixed the program last year as the city struggled financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those cuts were reversed thanks to $15 billion in federal aid.
Speaking alongside de Blasio via Zoom, Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo admitted he “wasn’t happy” about the year without 30-minute service.
Oddo said the long wait for its return “tried my patience.”
“We can’t have a recovery for all without a Staten Island Ferry that serves the essential workers and other folks who work outside the 9-to-5 schedule,” he told de Blasio.
“Today’s a good day. I think it’s another indication of how New York City is rebounding and coming out of this.”
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