(UPDATED 11/2/12) The first Staten Island Ferry since Hurricane Sandy will depart at noon Friday, followed by half-hourly service in both directions.
New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan had Transportation Nation Thursday: "I'm hopeful that by tomorrow afternoon, I'll be talking to you live from the ferry terminal."
The city shut down ferry operations in advance of Hurricane Irene. Although the fleet wasn't harmed in the storm, the docks suffered damage.
Sadik-Khan also said high-occupancy vehicle restrictions would remain in place through midnight Friday. "Then we'll revisit it," she said, pending restoration of subway service.
The DOT has been working with the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority to bridge the gap in subway service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and has instituted special shuttle bus service and bus-only lanes to speed travel over the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges. Temporary bus lanes have also been set up on either side of the bridges on Third and Flatbush Avenues.
On a normal weekday, said Sadik-Khan, 728,000 people take the subway into Manhattan from the Jay Street, Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center and Hewes Street subway stations. Over 200,000 people usually drive over the East River Bridges.
Sadik-Khan said the dedicated lanes were working. "Traffic was tough today," she said, "but it's pretty good flow considering the challenges that we face."