Rockaway Ferry Given Fourth Lifeline, Service Extended to Fall

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 01:56 PM

Rockaway resident Raul Romero takes a ferry to work every morning from Rockaway Park, Queens to Lower Manhattan. Rockaway resident Raul Romero takes a ferry to work every morning from Rockaway Park, Queens to Lower Manhattan. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Commuters from the Rockaways who've come to rely on the daily ferry service between Rockaway Beach and Lower Manhattan have been given another lifeline. The city's latest $75 billion budget, approved early Thursday, has extended its costly subsidy of the ferry through October.

Ferry service was created after Sandy when the A train was damaged, and it was later extended to offer R train riders an alternative while service on that line was repaired. Mayor Bill de Blasio extended it yet again in January — but increased the cost of the ride from $2 to $3.50. 

There are about 750 rides a day, according to the city's Economic Development Corporation, which funds the ferry.

Disembarking from the ferry on a recent morning, Al Carfora, 65, admitted its an expensive subsidy, but said the city subsidizes construction of buildings and other projects — so why not support the Rockaways after Sandy? "We've always been the stepchild of the city, it's just another kick in the teeth," he said. "Rockaway is isolated, it's far away, this has been a real shot in the arm for the community, and a nice alternative way of coming into the city. And it's even brought some tourists back to Rockaway during the day."

The city hasn't ruled out another extension of service. "We will continue to examine ridership and seek a sustainable funding stream that can support the $25-$30 subsidy per trip—the highest by far of any public transportation in the city," a spokeswoman for the New York Economic Development Corporation said.



Comments [2]

"Rockaway United To Save Our Ferry" Queens New York
From - the Rockaway's, Broad Channel, Breezy Point & Brooklyn

$75 Billion Dollars Mayor Bill de Blasio and you could not put the funding in the 2014/15 fiscal budget for the Rockaway/BAT Ferry service.. Five Borough Presidents our Community Board 14 along with some of our, Congress, State Senate, NYS Assembly, NYC Council and most important the residents of the Rockaway's, Broad Channel, Breezy Point and Brooklyn residents all in support. We think you should re-think this and add the funds needed for the operational cost of this most needed form of transportation and our only form of water transportation for this entire Peninsula. Now I know why you never came to the Thank You rally we held just for you because you extended our Ferry service, most likely you knew when the Brooklyn "R" train service was going back into service . Let me see, the 'R" train will go back into service this October then our Ferry will sail away for good. "Oh" yes and once again it proves that Rockaway is truly the stepchild of New York City.

Daniel Ruscillo Jr.
Co-Chair Transportation Committee Community Board

Jun. 28 2014 02:44 PM

Why not give the cost of keeping the ferry running? Because WNYC services are not intended to provide "information - they're intended to provide only the barest scaffolding for narrative fables.

Jun. 26 2014 05:08 PM

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