It was a chaotic scene at the Staten Island Ferry's terminal yesterday, as "a significant share of [the] workforce did not report to work," mayor Eric Adams said in an official statement about the situation.
As of this morning, the Staten Island Ferry is running every hour, instead of every 30 minutes (during peak times, the boats usually run every 15 to 20 minutes). No official word yet on when service will be completely restored.
The outage started yesterday around 3:30pm, when the city announced that the ferry would run hourly until 2am and then completely stop transporting New Yorkers until 6am this morning, when the first boat departed St. George Terminal landing. The Staten Island Ferry is running today but the route will continue to service customers once an hour to the Battery Maritime Building next to Whitehall Terminal in downtown Manhattan throughout today.
"Amidst a national marine workers shortage and ongoing labor challenges, we have already been making regular adjustments to Staten Island Ferry service," the mayor said in an official statement yesterday. "Now with this event, we are saying to the workers who did not come in today: if you are not sick, New Yorkers need you to come to work."
According to Gothamist, the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association, the labor union that represents the employees of the Staten Island Ferry, previously blamed staffing shortages on "woefully low wages and high competition in maritime jobs."
Mayor Adams addressed the specific issue in his latest statement, saying that the city "will continue to engage with these ferry workers' union to reach a voluntary, pattern-conforming agreement in the same way that we have done with virtually all other city unions for these rounds of bargaining."
Until that happens, the NYC Ferry, which is not associated with the Staten Island Ferry, has been offering additional and modified rides at no cost since yesterday. The free, direct line runs from the NYC Ferry St. George Terminal landing in Staten Island and the Battery Maritime Building in downtown Manhattan every 10-15 minutes during rush hours and every 15-20 minutes throughout the rest of the day. Beware, though: the service's boats are much smaller than those operated by the Staten Island Ferry.
We suggest monitoring the city's official Twitter account for timely updates throughout the rest of the day.