Doofus Of The Day #1,086


Today’s award goes to the Staten Island Ferry for their brand new $100 million white elephant, currently moored at Staten Island.

The dazzling new $100 million Staten Island Ferry boat named after a local war hero and christened by Mayor Bill de Blasio with much fanfare two weeks ago has been grounded — because the city hasn’t trained ferry workers how to operate it.

. . .

The Ollis boat — the first new vessel in the fleet in 16 years — was christened with much fanfare by the mayor, Staten Island elected officials and the soldier’s family on Oct. 4.

But the Post Wednesday morning found the SSG Michael H. Ollis — part of a $309 million fleet of three new boats — docked and dormant.

“I can’t imagine that the Ollis ferry will be put into service until next year. We have not seen a training plan,” Roland Rexha, secretary treasurer of the Marine Engineers and Beneficial Association, the union representing the captains and engineers who navigate the ferry.

. . .

As things currently stand, there’s not enough ferry staffers to do both the training and keep the current boats running at the same time, Rexha claimed.

There’s more at the link.

Oh, well . . . what’s a $100 million ferry between friends?  It’s only taxpayers’ and commuters’ money, after all!

I wonder what the daily mooring charge is at Staten Island, and how much per day in lost revenue and upkeep costs the idle ship represents?  I have a feeling those figures might be impressive.



  1. Oh that's nothing. You need a would-be national government to really screw things up. See the Scottish ferry mess

    THE SNP HAS COST taxpayers some £200m by failing to complete two hugely over-specified ferries in such an astonishing display of incompetence that other motives have been alleged.

    Asked by MSPs why the SNP Government had chosen the most expensive of six tenders to build the ferries, Roy Pedersen, a member of the Scottish Government’s Ferry Industry Advisory Group, said: “I don’t know the answer but three things spring to mind – one is incompetence, the other is vested interest and the other is corruption.”

    and it gets better the more you read (or worse if you are a Scottish taxpayer)

  2. "Roland Rexha, secretary treasurer of the Marine Engineers and Beneficial Association, the union representing the captains and engineers who navigate the ferry"

    Sounds like a power grab by the union.

    Don in Oregon

  3. I'm about 2 miles away from the terminal as I type. The terminal is owned by the port authority, so thankfully there is no mooring fee- the new boat, which looks the exact same as the other boats pretty much, is sitting at a local shipyard, but the city could quite easily shift it over to one of the ferry's lay berths using local tugboats if the shipyard needed that berth. The berth in question is offered for convenience of local companies pretty often. They're good folks at Caddells.
    NY ferries don't pay well, far below average for the tonnage, and require an Master of Unlimited Tonnage ticket, as well as pilotage for New York Harbor (a separate and far more challenging exam than the brutal Master's exam), but come with an enormous pension, and you get to sleep in your own bed every night. Still, 70k per year for that job is a joke. A new 3rd mate fresh out of the maritime academy makes that. After the 15-20 years it takes to get a master's position, who is going to take a 400% pay cut from what shipping companies offer? Well, kids who sail military cargo can get the sea time and classwork done to get a Master's license in 10 years or so of intense study, but at a cost of having no experience… just book learning. Not who you want in charge of 400 lives 20 times a day.

  4. Upkeep costs? Like they're maintaining it while it's parked? It's brand new and still under warranty; how much maintenance can it need?
    (Any bets on whether it'll see any use before becoming a rusting hulk?)

  5. Wouldn't the optics have been slightly better if that mayor had the new trained and "ready to go" crew on the dock with him at the christening!??!!??
    Just spit balling here…..asking for a friend…..etc, etc

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