Late night date nights are going to get infinitely easier for folks commuting to and from Staten Island. The city has officially allocated funding for increased ferry service overnight and on weekend evenings. Mayor de Blasio tapped $505,000 in the city budget to fund service in the 2014 fiscal year and an additional $3.1 million beginning in 2015 and running through 2018. Though free for passengers, the DOT spends an average of $4.86 per person, per ride for the 22 million passengers it shuttles back and forth each year.
Last October the City Council unanimously passed a bill that called for more ferry runs to and from the island. This spring, boats will make additional trips overnight and weekend evenings. Starting on May 1st, 2015, ferries will operate a minimum of every 30 minutes around the clock. Borough President and bill sponsor James Oddo was pleased with the news, naturally: "It's a commitment the city made to the people of Staten Island, and it's nice to have the money allocated without any struggle or any drama or any needless angst."
It will be a huge relief not to be stuck in the terminal for an hour after juuuust missing the boat, though the Dairy Queen on the St. George side and the new bar on the Whitehall side have made waiting a little more palatable. It'll be a boon to the new businesses and giant ferris wheel slated to arrive in the coming years and also great news for the worthwhile restaurants already operating near the ferry on the Staten Island side.