NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Water Taxi will be offering 500 free rides between Great Kills Park on Staten Island and Manhattan beginning Wednesday.

The company said by offering the free service it hopes more people will try it and thereby help it to better gauge the viability of continuing it long term.

Commuters interested in obtaining a free one-way ticket can call New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969. Pressing option 2 will get commuters a confirmation code for a print-at-home-ticket.

New York Water Taxi began the temporary eight-week ferry service between Great Kills and Manhattan last week to ease transportation woes for the island’s south shore residents hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.

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