Staten Island Ferry is operating on a reduced schedule due to “work issues”.

Staffing issues are making waves for Staten Island Ferry commuters as the city announced a shortened schedule on Wednesday.

Citing “ongoing work challenges,” Mayor Eric Adams said a “significant proportion” of the ferry crew did not show up for work on Wednesday, resulting in service being cut every hour from 3pm Wednesday to 5am Thursday was. The staffing issue comes as the Staten Island Ferry is already grappling with a labor shortage largely due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the maritime union representing Staten Island Ferry workers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in previous reports, the union has said the staff shortages are also partly due to “abjectively low wages and fierce competition in maritime jobs”.

In a statement, the mayor said the city has already made adjustments to Staten Island’s ferry service due to the city’s ongoing staffing shortage. He said his office would work with the ferry workers’ union to reach a collective agreement.

“We will continue to monitor this situation very closely. We are constantly working to ensure that Staten Island residents and all New Yorkers can travel seamlessly between Manhattan and Staten Island, and we will do everything we can to make that possible during this disruption,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams, in a statement.

“Unless you’re sick, New Yorkers need you to get to work,” Adams said in a statement.

Due to the delay, the New York City Ferry Service will offer free direct service between the Battery Maritime Building Slip 5 in Manhattan and the NYC Ferry St. George Terminal, located in Staten, every 15 minutes on Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m Iceland lands. The free direct service will resume at 6:30 a.m. Thursday and end at an unspecified time, according to the NYC Department of Transportation.

Ferries, which normally operate every 30 minutes and every 15 minutes during peak hours during regular service, depart from St. George Terminal on Staten Island on the hour and from Whitehall Terminal in Manhattan on the half hour.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority also announced additional transit services in response to the Staten Island Ferry delays.

“At the request of the city, where possible, adjustments have been made to bus and train schedules to get people to Staten Island during afternoon rush hours,” New York City Transit chief operating officer Craig Cipriano said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon . “We recognize how volatile the situation is, and the MTA is doing what it can to assist commuters who would otherwise be stranded due to reduced ferry options.”

The agency said there would be increased express bus service on the SIMI/SIMIC line at Hylan Boulevard, the SIM3/SIM3C line at Port Richmond, and the SIM4/SIM4C line at Richmond Avenue.

Passengers can also take the Brooklyn-bound R train from Whitehall Street-South Ferry to 86th Street and 4 Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the MTA said. From there, passengers can take the S79, SBS, S53, or S93 bus routes to Staten Island.

Passengers can also take the Staten Island Railway, which operates on a regular schedule but will be adjusted in the event of capacity issues, according to the MTA.

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