Will new Sandy ferries stick around?

NEW YORK - In order to ease traffic burdens following Hurricane Sandy and its devastation of places like Staten Island, new ferry routes were put into operation to bring commuters directly into Manhattan. One of the routes connects Staten Island at Great Kills via the New York Water Taxi service to stops near Wall Street and Midtown. It began Monday morning. One-way fare is $2.

Currently, plans are for the ferry to run for eight weeks, but early returns are so positive that some, like Staten Island borough president James Molinaro, are calling for the ferry to become a permanent fixture. New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said in an interview with WCBS that 248 people rode on the first morning alone.

“There’s an awful lot of people that must get into the city every day to work and who were getting in late and so we started it as an eight-week experiment. But from the response that we received today, I think it could very well be a permanent solution to some of our people getting into the city,” Molinaro told WCBS. “It’s going to get you into Manhattan in 45 minutes, so how can you beat it?”

You can find the schedule for the Staten Island service from a temporary landing at Great Kills here. The regular Staten Island Ferry, which departs from St. George, was shut down during the storm, but has resumed as well.

Another temporary ferry has been created between the Rockaways, in Queens, and Manhattan as well. WorkBoat does not have information on ridership for that ferry.