Streams

Rockaway Ferry Service Ends Soon

Monday, February 22, 2010

The city's latest experiment in waterborne transportation, a publicly subsidized ferry to the Rockaways, will end within 30 days. The Bloomberg administration says too few people are riding it. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has the details.

REPORTER: The route debuted in May 2008 after the local City Council member devoted his discretionary funds to subsidize the service. The goal was to transport 300 people a day from the hard-to-reach Rockaways to Wall Street. But ridership came well short of that number last year with fewer than 200 trips a day.

That meant taxpayers were putting in about $20 per passenger, while tickets cost commuters just $6 each. New York Water Taxi operated the service. Its president, Tom Fox, says ridership increased 2.3 percent at a time when other private ferry lines were seeing double digit losses. The city's Economic Development Corporation says the mayor is willing to subsidize ferries to an extent but is conducting a citywide study to determine the most effective routes.

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