New proposal for no outdoor seating on the Staten Island ferry

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jan 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-20 19:04:55-05

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (PIX11)-  People from all over the world come to New York to see landmarks and take pictures of the skyline. Many of them choose to do so from the Staten Island Ferry.

But the beautiful outdoor views of the harbor could soon be a thing of the past.

A new proposal by an engineering firm, at the request of the Department of Transportation, suggests three new ferry boats that would make it easier to load and add a fourth public deck, but would eliminate the outdoor seating or promenade.

The new boats would use 40 percent less fuel and require a smaller crew.

One tourist from Brazil Ronny Menache says that boat would hardly be worth riding, “I think eliminating it would not be that much interesting, especially for me as a tourist.”

In light of the recent ferry accident on the Seastreak that injured more than 70 people and other stories about subway riders being pushed onto the tracks, native New Yorkers say they understand why the city would want to make the commute a little safer.

Staten Island resident Jennie Morgan agrees with the idea, “I’m afraid, especially with the subway incidents and everything that somebody’s going to push you over.”

Most tourists who ride the ferry say they don’t think the ferry poses any safety risk.

Including Tim Levert from Columbus Ohio, “We brought our kids across, I have three little kids, and I never felt uncomfortable with them being outside either.”

There’s no need to worry just yet.  The new boats wouldn’t be delivered until 2018 which gives plenty of time to make some adjustments. The Department of Transportation says the public will have the opportunity to voice their opinions.

Judging by the early exit polls, ferry riders strongly support feeling the wind in their hair.