2001-02-03 / Editorial/Opinion

Let’s Get Real

If the ongoing proposal to bring ferry service to Rockaway is truly for the purpose of offering additional, easy access on and off the peninsula, then we agree with Lew Simon (See Simon Says, this issue) that the cost of the commuter ferry is way out of line for a daily traveler back and forth to Manhattan. With the proposed cost of $20 round trip and an additional $2 fee for parking at Riis Park, that would shuttle commuters by van to the ferry, we find that not only expensive, but far too excessive. Add on to the daily $22 tag for transportation an additional bus or train fare for those who do not work in walking distance to the South Street Seaport, and then we’re talking another $3.00 round trip fee per day. Hey folks, that’s $125 per week, a minimum $500 per month. Subsidies certainly would be needed to make this venture affordable for the daily commuter and a success for the ferry service. Let’s talk straight here, when was the last time Rockaway was handed out any big bucks by the federal, state or city governments that did not include putting up public housing, or nursing homes and health related facilities.

We at The Wave say "fine" to a ferry service that is affordable, but we doubt the monies are there. We do however strongly agree with the need for alternative easy access to Manhattan from Rockaway. We strongly support the reopening of the old Long Island right-of-way line, from Rockaway to the city, over Jamaica Bay (bypassing Jamaica). This route is about 34 minutes from our shores to the shores of New York City, and a great alternative to what is presently available to daily commuters. And, we are pretty sure that it won’t hit them to the tune of $500 per month.

We haven’t crunched all the numbers yet, but as Lew suggests, for everyone to reach out to our city, state and federal elected officials demanding subsidy for a daily ferry service, we also feel that equal pressure be placed on the politicos to reach deep into their powerful pockets and get this "right-of-way" line up and running again.


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