1999-10-02 / Front Page

Ferry Sound Idea For Rockaway

By John McLoughlin

Congressman Anthony Weiner expressed at a meeting on Monday morning, September 27, that he is onboard with the ferry plans for Rockaway. Rockaway activists Palmer Doyle, Joe Hartigan and Liz Sulik joined with Trevor Bond of Seastreak, an established ferry operator, at the congressman’s office in Brooklyn to "get the ball rolling."

Weiner said there is "nothing stopping ferry operators in Rockaway," but there are "economic disadvantages that government needs to address." Citing the ferry plans as an "uphill, upwater battle," Weiner said a "large chunk of money is needed in an area that hasn’t seen it in awhile."

Saying "if we build it, they will come," Weiner explained he could work on obtaining funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for ferry landings and infrastructure.

Joe Hartigan, who has become Rockaway’s ‘ferry expert’, convinced Weiner of the need for a ferry stop at JFK. Weiner committed to arranging a meeting with the Port Authority, who would have to give approval for such a stop.

Trevor Bond of Seastreak America Inc., a ferry operator in New Jersey and New York, explained to Weiner that the company would most likely operate three ferries, with travel from Rockaway to Manhattan being 45 minutes at most. Several stops along the ferries path would be an objective of Seastreak. Such stops being considered include the Coast Guard site in Roxbury, Beach 108 street and Beach Channel drive, Beach 116 street, JFK Airport, and a stop in the Five Towns and Brooklyn. Bond said that cheap, inexpensive parking for ferry commuters is also important.

Doyle, Sulik and Hartigan plan to meet with Councilman Stabile next to explore ways the city can assist the ferry in becoming a reality for Rockaway.

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