2001-04-28 / Front Page

Weiner Asks For Subsidies For Ferry

Weiner Asks For Subsidies For Ferry

Congressman Anthony Weiner this week called on key members of the New York City Council to provide subsidies for the Rockaway commuter ferry service, which will begin June 1. In a letter to City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Transportation Committee Chairman Noach Dear, Contract Committee Chairperson Kathryn Freed Franchise Subcommittee Chairman Waler McCaffrey and City Council Member Al Stabile, Congressman Weiner asked that the process of extending subsidized franchise service to the Rockaway ferry begin immediately.

The City currently provides subsidies for every form of mass transportation in the city, including train service, bus service, and even the Staten Island ferry.

"Beginning June 1," Weiner wrote, "ferry service will start to carry residents and visitor between Rockaway and Manhattan. The hard part – the extensive investment in the landing and parking for the ferry – is done. The long-dormant dream of water-borne service to the Rockaways will soon be a reality. . .Now I call on you to begin the process of extending franchise status to this service. There is no reasonable argument to offer a $4.30 subsidy for a set on the Green Bus running from Rockaway to Manhattan and to provide nothing for a faster cleaner trip."

Fox Navigation will begin its Rockaway commuter ferry service on June 1, with two ferries running from Riis Landing to Manhattan’s Pier 1 in the morning and two making the return trip in the evening at a cost of $10-$13 per person. Each ferry trip will take 30 minutes. Green Bus Lines, which take more than an hour each way between the Rockaways and Manhattan, cost $3.50 with a city subsidy of $$.30. With a comparable city subsidy, the 30 minute Rockaway ferry could operate at $5-7 per passenger.

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