The Staten Island Ferry's great for lots of things: cheap beer, romantic dates and free trips past the Statue of Liberty for tourists. What it's not so great for: transporting people beyond St. George on Staten Island and South Ferry in Manhattan. But a new idea could see the big orange boat treading new waters further north, with a proposal to extend ferry service to Midtown.
Back in April, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo sent a letter to the Department of Transportation asking them to consider expanding ferry service to include stops at East 34th Street and Pier 11. Following some testy Tweets, the DOT responded this week, saying they'd look into the beep's proposal.
"In our continued effort to improve service for ferry riders, the Department of Transportation has already begun to look into the possibility of expanding ferry service to alternate destinations such as Pier 11 and East 34th Street in Manhattan based on your request," Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg wrote in her response. Trottenberg praised the "exciting opportunity" but pointed out the "many hurdles that need to be analyzed including the need for additional new ferries and significant upgrades to the current terminal infrastructure."
Oddo called commutes for Staten Islanders "hellish," pointing out that many who employ public transportation for commuting must use the Staten Island Rail Road or MTA bus to get to the ferry, then hop on another train or bus to get to their destination. Express buses that serve the borough do drop off and pick up passengers in Midtown, but they're more expensive than a single fare (including a transfer) of the alternative. Plus: there's no beer on the bus.