2002-03-02 / Front Page

Marshall Calls For Rockaway Ferry

Marshall Calls For Rockaway Ferry

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall has told the city’s Select Committee on Waterfronts that Rockaway needs ferry service to become economically viable and to draw homeowners to Arverne By The Sea.

"My office implores the city to expand commuter ferry service to and from a number of sites in Queens, but especially Rockaway," Seth Bornstein, Marshall’s Director of Economic Development, told the committee. "As our waterfronts are reborn, we need to rethink the concept of ferry service. Inexpensive, efficient and ecologically sound mass transit makes a good deal of sense as we rebuild and reshape this city."

Bornstein added that New York City has become the great metropolis that is based on its harbor.

"Until the middle of the twentieth century, our waterfront – every aspect of it from the Hudson River with liners linking us to the rest of the world, to the recreational beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, were symbols of the city’s power. Ferries were a major means of transportation then, but that all changed to the detriment of our transportation system.

Rockaway was on the verge of getting a viable ferry service when Riis Landing was established in Fort Tilden, at the western end of the peninsula.

Three hundred thousand dollars had been set aside for a subsidy for that service, but the money disappeared along with the city’s excess funds. The money has not been allocated in this year’s budget.

Many see the ferry as a needed factor in attracting new, middle-class residents to Rockaway.

"People won’t move to Rockaway if they have to spend an hour and a half each day on the A Train trying to get to Manhattan," one resident told a recent civic meeting. "We need a more attractive way to move people to where the jobs are."

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