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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Henning Klokkeråsen

NYC might start charging tourists to ride the Staten Island Ferry

Written by
Clayton Guse

For the past 20 years, rides on the Staten Island Ferry have been gratis for passengers who board on foot. But those free rides may soon be coming to an end—at least for tourists.

When asked about the possibility of instituting a tourist fare for the ferry, Mayor Bill de Blasio told amNewYork on Monday that he was open to the idea and that he would ask the Office of Management and Budget to look into the matter.

Shortly after taking office in 2014, de Blasio floated the idea of taxing tourist rides on the ferry. That same year, the city's Independent Budget Office sent a report to Staten Island borough president James Oddo detailing how a tourist fare would work, estimating that charging out-of-towners a $4 fare on the ferry would generate nearly $2.4 million in annual revenue. 

Implementing a tourist fare comes with a whole slew of logistical issues, though. From the challenges of proving residency to the risk of longer boarding times, the idea isn't exactly airtight. 

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