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All aboard the new ferry from Hell’s Kitchen to Staten Island! Well, when we say “all”, it was actually just me who took up the option to pay $2.75 for the competitor to one of the world’s most famous free rides, the Staten Island Ferry.

The first departure from the Midtown Ferry Terminal was at 7:14 this morning. The ship did bring in a few passengers from Staten Island who had boarded at St. George — but I was the only one heading south on this inaugural ferry ride.  It is the first time that the city-backed service, provided by Hornblower, has served Staten Island or operated on the west side of Manhattan on the Hudson River.

Early passengers from Staten Island arriving at Midtown Terminal just after 7am. All Photos and Videos: Phil O’Brien.
The NYC Ferry, operated by Hornblower for the city, is the first to run on the west side.
The first passenger on the new Hell’s Kitchen to Staten Island Ferry.

Sadly (or maybe it was best for my safety in this weather), I was not allowed on the top deck. Also, disappointingly there was no hot water for tea or coffee at the food concession onboard this morning.

Hudson Yards was shrouded in cloud and the opening day for tennis at Pier 76 is rained off.
There’s still a great view of the Statue of Liberty from the ferry.
We hit a heavy squall as we were arriving on Staten Island.
The ferry arrives at a new dock near the main Staten Island terminal, next to the Empire Outlets.

We got into a slight disagreement with the hawker at the main terminal. When we suggested she should also say Hell’s Kitchen in her “spiel”, she told us: “It’s not Hell’s Kitchen, it’s actually Hudson Yards!”

This new route transports riders from Pier 79 at W 39th Street to the northern tip of Staten Island in just 35 minutes, with a stop at Battery Park City along the way. It will provide a faster option for Staten Island commuters heading to the city.

You won’t need to wait more than 45 minutes for a ferry — and at rush hour the frequency of sailings increases to 30 minutes. The full schedule can be found here…

And it looks like there will be demand for the service — as our video of these last-minute commuters on the free Staten Island Ferry shows. At $2.75, it will be a great alternative for anyone who usually gets a free ferry and subway to work in Midtown (or, indeed, Hudson Yards).

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15 Comments

  1. I was glad to get your email with the post about the ferry. And you’re right, it’s Hell’s Kitchen, which is a neighborhood, not “Hudson Yards,”which was a marketing name. I didn’t know anything about this new ride. Can you pay with a MetroCard?

  2. I’m so excited for this particularly If it’s an option for transportation to the NYC Marathon in November!!

  3. According to Google Maps, you’re both right; it’s Hudson Yards and Hell’s Kitchen. However, as a life-long HK resident, it’s never been considered part of Hell’s Kitchen by myself or others who’ve lived in this neighborhood for at least 15 years, thus I’d reckon it’s more Hudson Yards.

    1. Given one of the first references to Hell’s Kitchen in NYC was a NY Times article in 1881 about a tenement murder on 39th and 10th, I think it’s fair to include 39th in the HK neighborhood. When I lived in HK we always considered it down to about the mid 30s.

      1. I totally agree with you. 39th Street is synonymous with Hell’s Kitchen. Hudson Yards is 35th street. Hell’s Kitchen will forever be called just that. Not Clinton nor Hudson Yards.

  4. This will probably be used more for those that live in Staten Island and need to get to midtown. I know that some part of 39th are considered at times part of HK but in general that part is probably more Hudson Yards now and not HK.

  5. Thanks for the article! We’ve been looking forward to this expanded ferry service. We only WISH the Hudson River had ferries to NJ, as the East River does to Brooklyn and Queens.
    Imagine being able to go to Jersey City, Hoboken, Nyack, etc from Manhattan’s WEST side for only $2.75. The current ferries are stupidly expensive. For example, our family of four wanted to ferry over to Hoboken, eat dinner, and ferry back… the boat rides would have cost us almost $80. It would be $22 with the reasonable $2.75 ferry rides. And NJ should love that, as more New Yorkers would spend $$ in NJ.

  6. Excellent piece on your journey to Staten Island. Really helps to connect especially for those of us unable to be in Hell’s Kitchen NYC in person at the moment – and that’s Hell’s Kitchen not Hudson Yards!

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