New York’s waterways are once again thriving, and aside from the profusion of new ferry services, this old reliable standby still plies the water between Staten Island and Manhattan around the clock every day of the year. Best of all, it has been free of charge since 1997. Take a ride from new Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan, located near Battery Park, to Staten Island and enjoy the panoramic views of beautiful New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan. The ride takes about 25 minutes in either direction. The ferry runs as frequently as every 15 minutes during rush hour, and slows to hourly service late at night. Bicycles can be transported free of charge. At present, no passenger cars are allowed due to security regulations.
The Staten Island Ferry has been a municipal service since 1905, and currently carries over 19 million passengers annually on a 5.2-mile run between the St. George Terminal in Staten Island and the Whitehall Terminal in lower Manhattan. Service is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Staten Island Ferry is the most reliable form of mass transit, with an on-time performance of over 96 percent.
A typical weekday schedule involves the use of five boats to transport approximately 65,000 passengers daily (104 daily trips). A four-boat (15 minute headway) rush hour schedule is maintained. Terminals are cleaned around the clock and routine terminal maintenance is performed on the day shift. On weekends, three boats are used (64 trips each weekend day). Over 33,000 trips are made annually.
There are two other nearby ferry service of interest, both operated by the National Park Service. One runs to Liberty and Ellis islands, and one round trip ferry ticket includes visits to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Note that there can be very long lines and waiting periods in the busy summer months. Make sure to read all about the Financial District and its fascinating history in our Visitor Guide. The other ferry makes a short trip to Governors Island. This ferry is seasonal and departs from the Battery Maritime Building located at 10 South Street at the corner of Whitehall and South Streets (next door the Staten Island ferry terminal).
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