The Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry Frequently Asked Questions and Trip Tips

frequently Asked Questions

  • How often does the Ferry operate?
    The Ferry runs 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. More frequent service, (every 15 or 20 minutes,) is provided on the weekdays during the rush hours of 6:00AM- 9:30AM and 3:30PM-8:00PM, with either 30-minute or 60-minute service to follow. On weekends, service is provided every 30 minutes from 6:00AM-7:00PM on Saturdays and 9:00AM-7:00PM on Sundays. Check the Schedules for more information.
  • Where does the Ferry travel to?
    The Staten Island Ferry travels between the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island and the Whitehall Ferry Terminal (also known as South Ferry) in Manhattan.
  • Where are the terminals located and how do I get there by public transportation?
    St. George Ferry Terminal is located at 1 Bay Street and is accessible by MTA Busses and the Staten Island Railway (SIR). The Whitehall Ferry Terminal is located at 4 South Street, and is accessible by MTA busses and the Subway. See Getting There for more information.
  • How can I purchase a Metro-card?
    In St. George, you can purchase a Metro-card from the vending machines on the lower level at the SIR station. In Whitehall, you can purchase a Metro-card from the vending machines in the lower lobby entranceway (right of escalators).
  • Is there parking at the Ferry terminals?
    There are two municipal parking lots (South and North lots) at the St. George Ferry Terminal (accessible off Richmond Terrace) as well as another lot located at. There are also privately operated parking lots next to the Staten Island yankees Ball Park. There is no public parking at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal. For costs and more information see Getting There.
  • Can I stay on the Ferry for round-trip?
    No. All passengers must debark from the Ferry after every trip and can re-board the boat through the waiting room.
  • Are vehicles allowed on the Ferries?
    No. Vehicles are not allowed on the Ferries.
  • Are there food concessions aboard the boats, and do they serve liquor?
    Yes, there is a food concession aboard every boat. Beer is sold, but not hard liquor. The food concessions are open when ever a boat is running (24/7).
  • Are the terminals and boats handicapped-accessible?
    Yes, the terminals and boats are all in compliance with handicapped accessibility requirements, as promulgated in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Can I bring my bicycle on the Ferry?
    Yes, bicycles are permitted but must be stored in the designated bicycle storage areas. All bicyclists must walk their bicycles to the bicycle loading area and board from the lower level. All passengers, including bicyclists, are subject to screening. See the Bicyclist Rules of Conduct for more information.
  • Is roller-blading or skate boarding permitted in the terminals or on the Ferries?
    No. For the safety of our passengers, all roller-blades, skate boards and non-motorized scooters must be walked through the terminals and boats. See the Passenger Rules of Conduct for more information.
  • Can I videotape aboard the Ferry?
    Yes. Videotaping for personal use is allowed aboard the ferry. Commercial use of video, photography or audio recording equipment must be done with a DOT-issued permit. See the Passenger Rules of Conduct for more information.
  • Can I distribute commercial fliers on the Ferry and in the terminals?
    Distribution of any materials aboard the Ferry is prohibited. You may distribute information in the terminals with a DOT-issued permit. See the Passenger Rules of Conduct for more information.
  • How do I obtain a permit?
    Apply online at Permit Application and include the purpose of the permit; days/dates/times you are interested in; the name of your business; and specific contact information. Permits are required to distribute literature or perform in the terminals or for film or photo shoots in the terminals or on the ferry. The applications for these permits are online. Application processing takes 3 to 5 business days.
  • Is smoking allowed on the Ferry or in the terminals?
    No. Smoking is prohibited entirely from the ferry and from most areas in the terminals, except those open areas were designated as smoking areas. See the Passenger Rules of Conduct for more information.
  • Where can I get tourist information at the Ferry?
    In St. George, please visit the Staten Island Ferries Passenger Service Office located in the waiting room next to the NYPD office. In Whitehall, please stop at the VISIT Center in the waiting room.

Pleasant Trip Tips

  • As more tips come up this list will be updated so please check back regularly.
  • During rush hour trips the boats are packed with commuters going to or returning home from work. This is not the best time to take a leisurely ride on the ferry. These trips are clearly marked on the schedule with yellow highlighting. Bringing large tourist groups on board during these trips will make it difficult for visitors to enjoy our great city and enjoy the ride.
  • At the Kiss and Ride drop off pull over to the right when dropping off or picking up passengers. Do not block the lane for other vehicles.
  • Do not stand at the top of the stairways while the ferry is docking.
  • Do not hold your children in your arms while the ferry is docking to avoid the possibility of falling if the ferry makes a hard landing.
  • When traveling with small children point out the ferry workers to them and tell them to see one of these people if they get separated from you. Also make a plan to meet at a terminal if you get separated. There are police rooms at each terminal and this would be a great place to tell your children to wait for you if they do get separated.
  • If you do get separated from your children speak to a crew member so that we may page them and get you reunited before leaving the ferry.
  • Be sure to use your wrist strap when taking photos on the outside decks. If you drop your camera it will most likely be going for a swim along with all the pictures on your memory card.
  • The outside upper decks on the New Jersey side of the ferries are always the most packed. Instead of pushing to get a good view try going to a different deck. The main deck has a lot of space and is a good area for taking nice pictures.
  • When it is raining or snowing the decks of the ferries can get very slippery. Please be cautious during these conditions.
  • Watch your step when passing through the doorways and when boarding or leaving the ferry. There are ramps at the doorways to allow wheel chair access which are painted yellow. These ramps can be very slippery when wet.
  • The ferry will not be re-loaded at either terminal until all passengers are off and the ferry has been cleared. Waiting until you are told to get off the ferry will only delay the next trip. Please disembark the ferry after it has arrived and reboard from the terminal waiting area for your return trip.
  • Please be sure to take all of your belongings with you as you leave the ferry.
  • Weather and sea conditions effect vessel movement. Always use caution when boarding and departing.
  • Be careful when accessing weather decks as wind conditions and vessel headway may make it difficult to open and close the doors.
  • Please stay off stairs, ramps and landing when a vessel is underway.
  • Keep an eye on your children to ensure they are not playing near doors, windows, gates, railings, mooring areas or any vessel equipment.
  • Always hold children's hands on escalators and do not permit your child to sit or play on the steps.
  • Never bring children onto escalators in a stroller.
  • Do not fool around while in the elevators. Jumping up and down will cause the elevator to stop and you will have to wait until the boats gets to the dock before an attempt to get you out is performed.
  • Be aware of elevator doors - watch clothing, bags and other personal items.
  • Keep children away from the elevator doors. Hold children's hands or, if you are using a stroller, keep children's hands inside and never use a stroller to obstruct the doors when they are closing.
  • Pedestrian should use designated crosswalks and sidewalks outside of the terminals. Look both ways when crossing streets and parking lots.
  • Drivers should look out for pedestrians and must comply with posted speed limits and all NYS Traffic Regulations.