GREAT KILLS — The city will be offering temporary ferry service from Great Kills to Manhattan to shorten the lengthened commute times for Staten Island residents in areas ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that the city was looking for bids to start temporary ferry service Monday, which will shuttle people from Great Kills to Wall Street and 35th Street, similar to service started in the Rockaways last week.
"We are committed to rebuilding and helping people in Staten Island and all impacted areas get their lives back on track,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Part of the rebuilding effort is making sure Staten Islanders have manageable commutes to their jobs despite heavy damage to roadways and vehicles during the storm.
"This new fast ferry service from Great Kills is affordable and quick, and we are confident it will help ease the commute for Staten Islanders during these tough times.”
The ferry will make six trips morning trips to Manhattan from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and six return trips to Staten Island from noon to 6:15 p.m. A one-way fare will cost $2.
With cars damaged by the storm and the Staten Island Railway running on limited service and at slower speeds, the commute time for residents in neighbors not close to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in St. George has greatly increased, City Councilman Vincent Ignizio said in a statement.
"This fast ferry will bring sorely needed relief to my constituents who suffer from the longest commutes in the nation,” Ignizio said. “I am proud to have been working closely with the Bloomberg Administration and my colleagues in government to make this a reality.”
Before the storm, Staten Island already had the longest average commute time in the country, at 42.5 minutes, the New York Post reported.
The city hopes to receive bids by the end of the week and to start the ferry service on Monday and will run for eight weeks, officials said.