Visiting Staten Island might be about to get even less pleasant: The City Council is considering reinstituting the ferry fare, according to a document the city’s Independent Budget Office has posted online. “You asked us to consider fares of $1.00, $2.00, $3.00 and $4.00,” IBO director Ronnie Lowenstein writes to Councilman James Oddo. At one buck, Lowenstein writes, costs will exceed revenue. At $2, however, there will be an “operating surplus.” And at $3 — boy, howdy, now we’re talking!
The single most awesome thing about this fare fantasy is that it’s apparently aimed only at tourists — the council’s idea is to waive the charge for island residents and people who work there. But the IBO letter says there would likely be “legal and operational concerns with charging one group and not another” (really?), which is a shame. Because some sort of a Staten Island Resident card would be the first step toward our long-standing fantasy: a New Yorker I.D., preferably a police-style badge, the flashing of which would automatically halve the price of street-cart hot dogs, allow first dibs whenever a big designer does a line for H&M, and let you jump the line at Magnolia Bakery.
Oh, and it’d ban you from the meatpacking district, too.