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New Staten Island Ferry vessels will get names inspired by community input

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There’s already a few interesting ideas floating around

If you need proof that the Staten Island is gaining in popularity (well, maybe), just look to the surge in ferry ridership. From July 2015 to June 2016, ridership levels set a new record with more than 23 million ferry rides during that year. Now, the city is seeking new names for two Ferry vessels—and Mayor Bill de Blasio is interested in hearing what Staten Islanders have in mind, reports SI LIVE.

One of three new boats has already been named after the late Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis, a Staten Island resident who died while serving in Afghanistan. City Council members Joseph Borelli and Steven Matteo have suggested one of the other two vessels should be named after fallen Detective Russel Timoshenko, who was shot and killed after pulling over a stolen vehicle in July 2007.

“I'm not going to weigh in for one idea or another yet,” Mayor de Blasio said. “I'm going to say I think it's a very good idea and we will talk to people all over Staten Island before making a final decision.”

Of course, by summonsing public opinions, Mayor de Blasio could be opening up Pandora’s box. Recall that when the Natural Environment Research Council in the UK set up an Internet poll to choose a name for its $300 million research vessel … voters overwhelmingly chose Boaty McBoatface. (It ended up being named for Sir David Attenborough instead.)

Curbed spoke with one Staten Island resident who already had a few options picked out. “As a Shaolin native, I think the boats should be named the RZA, GZA, and ODB,” he suggested, referencing Staten Island’s own Wu-Tang Clan. “Especially Ol' Dirty Bastard, since he’s no longer with us.” Let’s see what other alternatives Staten Island residents put forth first.