2001-01-27 / Front Page

Councilman Pushing For Ferry Subsidy

Councilman Pushing For Ferry Subsidy

Following this month’s release of the Port Authority’s ferry feasibility study for the Rockaways, Councilman Al Stabile sent a letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall regarding the possibility of a city subsidy for the proposed service.

"Ferries have operated along the Rockaway peninsula before and have all gone out of business for the same reason: lack of ridership due to high ticket prices. The price for a round trip ticket on any of the previous ferry services was $7. A price way too high for someone who would consider using the ferry service during a normal week. It would cost $35 a week for the ferry," Stabile wrote.

The councilman continued, "A ferry service is a win-win situation for Rockaway and our city, but only if the price is right. To reach that price of $2 or $3, city subsidies are a must. There is unanimous support for a ferry service up and down the Rockaway peninsula, including all elected officials. All too often I hear of families who find it difficult to live in Rockaway because of bad transportation. Others have told me they would love to call Rockaway home, but the lack of transportation alternatives prevents them from doing so."

Stabile also advocated in the letter the idea of linking Rockaway’s ferry service to a stop at JFK Airport.

"A stop by the ferry at Kennedy Airport would not only go a long way in supporting a ferry service, but would provide yet another method by which people can get from Manhattan to our major airport," Stabile wrote to Weinshall.

Stabile, who will continue advocating the subsidy, told The Wave in a recent interview, "If we can’t make it affordable, who’s going to use it."

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