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November 24, 2023
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November 29, 2023

Staten Island Ferry

Ollis Class ferries for the City of New York

The Staten Island Ferry project of new ‘Ollis Class’ ferries for the City of New York was an honour for UES Marine to be involved with. The iconic Staten Island Ferries are considered critical maritime infrastructure, transporting millions of residents and tourists every year. The ferry’s seats are a centrepiece of the exterior and cabin aesthetics, as well as the passenger experience. We took the time to understand the Staten Island Ferry operations and the preferences of the ridership.

UES Marine’s custom designed solution captured the spirit of the original ‘Kennedy Class’ ferries, preferred by passengers, and delivered on the stringent comfort, engineering, safety, security and maintenance requirements of the operators.

The Challenge

The brief was comprehensive and clear about what the seating needed to achieve. The old, but much loved, Kennedy Class ferries had reached end of life and were no longer compliant.

The new seating needed to be compliant and retain the essence of the original Kennedy Class design that featured large open cabins and vintage wooden seats. Over the years, Staten Island Ferry passengers consistently expressed a preference for this class of ferry in public fora, media, and surveys.

Critical maritime infrastructure with stringent comfort, engineering, safety, security and maintenance requirements.

The Solution

  • Passenger preferences were important and we worked closely with the vessel architects to incorporate as much of the ‘Kennedy Class’ as possible into the new ‘Ollis Class’.
  • During research and development, a key moment was riding the original Kennedy Class Ferry and noting the large number of classic wooden benches – an important part of the character and history of the ferry.
  • Developed a contemporary solution with a powder coat that mirrors the original wooden benches, providing a visual connection to the past for the interior areas.
  • Exterior seating features aluminium slatted benches with powder coat coloured finish to match the vessel exterior.
  • All seating adheres to U.S. Coast Guard regulations and American Bureau of Shipping class standards for fire-retardant materials for U.S. flag vessels.
  • Delivered on stringent comfort, engineering, safety, security and maintenance requirements.
  • 30 year structural warranty.

The Outcome

UES Marine provided a solution that retained the historical design essence of these iconic ferries, was compliant with all new statutes and regulations, while also being commercially viable for a public entity spending taxpayer money.

The seats are the centrepiece of the passenger cabin aesthetics and the design delivers excellence in comfort, appearance, construction and allows for easy cleaning and maintenance.

“I was extremely pleased that UES was the preferred seating vendor for the ‘Ollis Class’ ferries for the City of New York. They put a lot of time and effort into understanding the Staten Island Ferry operation and the preferences of the ridership. Their passion in designing the best product possible to meet the customer’s needs comes across loud and clear. I would highly recommend UES to anyone”.

James C. DeSimone
Retired Deputy Commissioner,
Ferries NYC Department of Transportation

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