For Immediate release May 7, 2011
Savino’s Ferry Report, Riders say, “Overall Ferry a B-, Bus Ramps a D+”
Riders Lament Homeless in Terminals; Smoke and Crime Mar Bus Ramps
St George- State Senator Dine J. Savino (D-I-WF Staten Island) once again set up a “Mobile District Office” in the Staten Island St. George Ferry Terminal in late March. The Senator’s staff was able to take specific constituent complaints from commuters and disperse some information.
In addition, five thousand Ferry Rider Report Cards were handed out to commuters. One thousand one hundred and forty riders filled out and submitted a report card. Those results were then complied into a report that is released today, distributed to commuters, elected officials, transportation advocates, and Administration officials.
This is the second Ferry Report the Senator has released. A few suggestions directly from the first 2009 Ferry Report were adopted by the City; such as: new retail options, creation of a “Quiet Deck” where signs request silence and there is increased enforcement of “preachers” on the top deck of the boats.
“Just as in 2009, ferry riders have spoken and my hope is they will once again be heard” Savino continued. “Most riders like their ferry commute, but can do without the lack of bus & SIRT/ferry coordination, homeless people harassing them, smokers and a lack of security on the bus ramps.”
Savino noted, “I have begun addressing these issues with NYPD, DOT, MTA and Homeless Services fixing these issues , some more late night boats and a drug store will go a long way to a pleasant trip rather than just a means to work and school.”
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, commented, “I thank Senator Savino for taking the lead in conducting this survey, as it will enable us to prioritize and determine where we should be focusing our funds and services. According to this survey, the public wants us to be focused on addressing homelessness, enforcement of "No Smoking" rules, and attracting new vendors to the terminal."
The 2011 Survey, riders gave the ferry an overall grade of B minus while bemoaning the security on the bus ramps which rated a D plus.
Conclusions of the 2011 Staten Island Ferry Report
1) The Ferry Terminals are not a homeless shelter.
2) Bus ramps are the wild west, where are the Mayor’s anti-smoking troops here? “Loosies”
3) Passage of a law enforcing the Quiet Deck.
4) Remaining retail must serve commuters needs, (a bank, pharmacy, tavern, dry cleaners, etc) .
5) Increase nighttime and weekend service with smaller faster boats.
6) Find a way to allow vehicles on the boats. The Coast Guard allows vehicles on ferries; Seattle moves 10,000 vehicles per weekday via passenger ferry.
7) An Official City Store should be placed in the Whitehall or St. George Terminal.
8) For a City putting bike racks and lanes everywhere these bike areas stink.