Old and New at the Ferry

Diane J. Savino

May 13, 2011

There is a variation on the “build-it-and-they-will-come” theory of government planning that holds that undertaking costly renovations at a given site will make everything better there.

Of course, that’s not necessarily the case, as attested to by the long list of heavily hyped, expensive beautification projects that, despite the promises of profound transformation, failed to make much of an improvement overall.

We hate to say it, but the multimillion-dollar makeover of the St. George Ferry Terminal that was completed in 2007, necessary as it may have been, seems to have fallen in that disappointing category.

The problems turned up in a couple of surveys state Sen. Diane Savino’s staff conducted among riders at the terminal. The first, done in 2009, reported concerns about the cleanliness of the bathrooms, coordination between the ferry and bus schedules, illegal smoking and security on the bus ramps. She reported the results to the city Department of Transportation, which operates the Staten Island Ferry.