Passengers were only allowed inside 15 minutes before the next departure.
People who arrived earlier had to wait on the sidewalk.
The practice also discouraged the homeless from seeking shelter.
But now the city has made a heated foyer available for ferry night owls.
All terminal entrances are now open, too, although passengers are steered to the foyer and aren't free to wander.
There aren't many passengers on overnight ferry runs. Officials said some boats leave with 50 to 60 people aboard.
Information from: Staten Island Advance, http://www.silive.com