During R Train Outage, a Ferry Alternative - Briefly

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 07:11 PM

R train outage poster (Kate Hinds)

The coming outage of the R train tunnel under the East River will inconvenience straphangers from Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. A ferry will serve as a low-cost option, but not for very long. 

Starting Monday, the Rockaway Ferry will make an extra stop in Sunset Park to scoop up Brooklynites affected by the coming subway tunnel work.

The Montague Tube, which carries the R train between Brooklyn and Manhattan, will close Friday for fourteen months so the MTA can make extensive Sandy-related repairs.

“Building upon our existing Rockaway Ferry service will provide a critical transit option to assist Brooklyn residents during disruptions to the R train,” said Mayor Bloomberg in an emailed statement.

The ferry will stop at the Brooklyn Army Terminal on 58th Street in Sunset Park and Whitehall Street in Manhattan on weekdays. One-way fares will be $2.

But there's a catch: right now, ferry service is scheduled to terminate on Labor Day.

Currently, the city's Economic Development Corporation is subsidizing the cost of the Rockaway Ferry, which is operated by Seastreak. "Since November, the city has committed approximately $3.5 million to this service," said EDC spokesman Patrick Muncie. He said ridership has been strong. "There's been demand—we've extended it twice"—but the ferry's post-Labor Day future is unclear right now. 

Muncie said the ferry has made 107,000 passenger trips since it started running after Sandy.

In an email Tuesday, City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn said she was pleased by the "pilot program to extend ferry service to Southern Brooklyn," and that she "will work alongside my colleagues to ensure ferry service continues beyond the initial trial run.”

R train riders can also transfer along the last four stops in Brooklyn to 11 other subway lines; check out the MTA's R train page for more information. And live in Bay Ridge? Express bus service on the X27 will increase by 25 percent.



Comments [3]

Samantha from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

I hope the ferry service continues for the long term. When the R train is not running through to Manhattan, the N trains are often jam-packed even as early on as 59th Street, which is the first opportunity for Bay Ridgers to pick it up. It takes an hour to travel from that point to mid-town and that is torture when you're stuck standing in a jam-packed car the whole way. The ferry should alleviate some of that over-crowding.

Aug. 19 2013 10:26 PM
throcko872 from New York, NY

Interesting--Morning Edition said 13 months

Jul. 31 2013 01:54 PM

If this ferry service is going to stop after Labor Day, then I see a major storm brewing.A storm that will result in a lot more not less ferry service.If the M.T.A is going to have to shut down the subway tunnel for any type of repairs for any extended length of time, then we need more ferry service there to fill in the gaps.I believe in my own opinion its an either or issue.

Jul. 31 2013 01:45 PM

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