February 14, 2022
$85 million, first new ferry from Staten Island for 4,500 people to New York in 17 years
New class of ferries represents a transformative upgrade for the nation’s busiest municipal ferry system
Staten Island native Michael Ollis killed in 2013 saving the life of a fellow soldier in Afghanistan
STATE ISLAND – New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced today that the all-new Staten Island Ferry has made its first trip and started regular passenger service. the Staff Sergeant Michael H. Ollis – an $85 million state-of-the-art ferry that is the first new vessel added to the fleet since 2005 – is named after a New Dorp resident who was killed in Afghanistan saving the life of a fellow soldier in 2013. Members of the Ollis family joined the boat’s maiden voyage from the St. George Terminal on Staten Island to the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan.
“Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and one of his brothers in arms, and I am proud to honor his legacy today,” said Mayor Adams. “Michael’s bravery knew no bounds, and now thousands of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world will be able to recognize that bravery every day. We owe the entire Ollis family a debt of gratitude for all they gave and for allowing us the honor of remembering Michael.
“This ship represents the best of our city: a premium ferry named in memory of someone who was truly selfless,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “I’m proud to be taking this maiden tour with Staff Sergeant Ollis’ family, and I’m so happy to know that people who pass through New York Harbor will always remember Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis. .”
“Staten Island Ferry staff have been training extensively on this brand new vessel over the past several months – and today we are so proud to join the Ollis family in showing it off to the rest of New York City,” said Commissioner of the Ministry of Transport Ydanis Rodriguez. “We thank Mayor Adams, along with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, for the forward-thinking investment that brought this boat to us and will bring two more new boats to port later this year.”
the Staff Sergeant Michael H. Ollis is the first of three new ferries to enter service this year, collectively known as Ollis– class ships. Together, the vessels represent a transformative upgrade for the nation’s busiest municipal ferry system; the three new ferries are larger, more modern and better equipped for extreme weather conditions than the existing fleet. They will feature popular design elements from old Staten Island Ferries, phone charging outlets and comfortable seating, as well as an oval walkway on the upper deck that will, for the first time, serve as an outdoor “walking track.” for passengers.
the Ollis completed port trials and passed US Coast Guard inspections late last year. The two others OllisClass ferries are expected to enter service later this year.
“I am honored to be a part of this moment in history as we watch the new SSG Michael H. Ollis ferry is making its maiden trip to midtown Manhattan this morning,” said Vito Fossella, Borough President of Staten Island. “As Staten Islanders, it is with great pride that we remember Staff Sergeant Ollis and his heroic act of saving the life of a fellow soldier. May this ferry remind all travelers of the legacy it leaves behind.
“Army Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis gave his life to save a fellow coalition soldier fighting to end terrorism and for the people of Afghanistan, and it is through his heroism that we can all live each day freely,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon. “It is fitting that a Staten Island ferry – an iconic vessel that thousands of New Yorkers and people around the world rely on every day for safe passage – is named after Sgt. Ollis, in addition to serving as a daily reminder of the ultimate sacrifice he made for us and a symbol of the courage shown by all of America’s heroic veterans and the men and women who serve in the uniform of our armed forces. I know Bob and Linda and their entire family are incredibly proud of Michael, and we join them and all Staten Islanders today in pride and admiration for his courage and selflessness.
“Today, as the SSG Michael H. Ollis ferry picks up its first passengers for the 5.2 mile journey through New York Harbor, we stop to remember HSG Michael Ollis, who heroically gave his life in service to our nation,” said New York State Senator Andrew Lanza. “Thousands of people will ride this ferry, and as they pass Lady Liberty in the harbor, I am sure they will be reminded and inspired by the American patriotism of Michael Ollis. With the launch of the first Ollis-class ferry, we will permanently etch Michael’s sacrifice and his shining example in the hearts and minds of all who board this state-of-the-art vessel.
“Michael Ollis was an exemplary Staten Islander, a New Yorker and a true American hero. Today’s inaugural race on the Staff Sergeant Michael H. Ollis Staten Island Ferry is a celebration of his life and a testament to his legacy,” said New York State Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick. “This ferry that bears his name will serve as a reminder of his sacrifice and heroism for decades to come.”
“Like many Rockaway residents, Staten Islanders rely on a reliable, safe, modern and efficient fleet to get to Manhattan,” said Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, New York City Council Majority Whip. “As one of the busiest municipal ferry systems in the country, it’s critical that we provide New Yorkers with a state-of-the-art fleet that can withstand extreme weather conditions and a growing population. I am honored to stand alongside Ministry of Transport Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi and my government colleagues as we announce the first of three new ferries that will enter service this year.
“Today is a historic day for the Staten Islanders as we honor our hero, Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis,” said David Carr, Member of the New York City Council. “Launching the maiden voyage of a ferry dedicated to his name will ensure his legacy will never be forgotten and his story will continue to be passed on to generations to come.”
“Michael Ollis gave his life to save a fellow soldier; as Jesus tells us, ‘There is no greater love than to lay down your life for another,'” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. “That the Staff Sergeant Michael H. Ollis The ferry not only transports its passengers safely, but also serves as a constant source of inspiration for self-sacrifice and the love of others for all who use it.