The free Staten Island Ferry carries over 21 million passengers annually, 24/7, 365 days a year between the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island and the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. The trip is about 25 minu tes long. The ferry is free!
The Staten Island Ferry is one of the last remaining vestiges of an entire ferry system in New York City that transported people between Manhattan and its future boroughs long before any bridges were built. In Staten Island, the northern shores were spiked in piers, competing ferry operators braved the busy waters of New York harbor. Today the Staten Island Ferry provides 22 million people a year (70,000 passengers a day not including weekend days) with ferry service between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan. The ferry is the only non-vehicular mode of transportation between Staten Island and Manhattan. NYC DOT operates and maintains the nine-vessel fleet as well as the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island, Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, the City Island and Hart Island Facilities, The Battery Maritime Building and all floating dock building equipment. The Staten Island Ferry is run by the City of New York for one pragmatic reason: To transport Staten Islanders to and from Manhattan. Yet, the 5-mile, 25-minute ride also provides a majestic view of New York Harbor and a no-hassle, even romantic, boat ride, for free! One guide book calls it "One of the world's greatest (and shortest) water voyages." From the deck of the ferry you will have a perfect view of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You'll see the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan receding as you pull away and coming into focus again as you return. A typical weekday schedule involves the use of four boats to transport approximately 70,000 passengers daily (117 daily trips). During the day, between rush hours, boats are regularly fueled, and maintenance work is performed. Terminals are cleaned around the clock and routine terminal maintenance is performed on the day shift. On weekends, three boats are used (96 trips each Saturday and 96 trips each Sunday). About 40,404 trips are made annually.