Late-night Staten Island Ferry riders took a step toward no longer being stranded for an hour when they miss a boat.
Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday announced his budget plan will include funding to run service every 30 minutes 24 hours a day, starting with 12 extra late-night runs on the weekend.
There will be six additional trips leaving the St. George terminal in Staten Island in the early morning hours between Saturday and Monday, costing $700,000 a year, starting May 1.
"The Staten Island Ferry is the lifeline for an entire borough. Setting a 30-minute standard for service will help Staten Islanders work, grow businesses on the island, and bring us closer to a day when every New Yorker has access to frequent, reliable public transit," de Blasio said in a statement.
Borough officials have long sought better late-night ferry service amid growing ridership and changing commuting patterns. Ridership during the 2014 fiscal year hit 21 million. When extra weekend service was added last May, ferry ridership hit 8.2 million between July and October -- 600,000 more riders than the prior fiscal year.
The latest round of service improvements were required under a law the City Council passed mandating round-the-clock 30-minute service, as long as the administration found it financially feasible.
Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for de Blasio, said the administration is considering smaller boats during overnights service to cut costs.