The Staten Island Ferry transports about 75,000 people between Staten Island and Manhattan every day. The 8 ferry boats are known by their distinct orange color. The ferry ride offers passengers an excellent view of the Statue of Liberty, and of downtown Manhattan; very attractive to tourists and residents of the city alike.
History of Staten Island Ferry
In the 1700s, several wealthy residents of New York City used their private boats to move around the New York harbor. These boats had 2 masts and a shallow bottom. In the early 19th century, Captain John De Forest commanded the first motorized ferry between the two boroughs. In the mid-1900s, several newer boats were added to the Staten Island Ferry fleet. In July of 1871, one of the ships was damaged by a boiler explosion. Many died, and even more were left badly injured. In 1884, the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railroad company took over the ferries. In 1901, one of the ferry boats collided with the New Jersey Central ferry and sank. Luckily, nearly all of the passengers survived.
In the beginning of the 20th century, New York City's Department of Docks and Ferries took over. Five new ferry boats were brought in; each named after a different one of New York City's boroughs.
Staten Island Ferry Today
Today, the Staten Island Ferry travels between its two docks in southernmost Manhattan, and St. George, Staten Island. The ferry works 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is almost always on schedule. The trip is about a half hour long, and a new boat comes to each dock every 30 minutes. The ride is free, and food and beverages can be purchased on-board.