2002-03-23 / Editorial/Opinion

For Brooklyn and for NJ, Why Not For Rockaway

For Brooklyn and for NJ, Why Not For Rockaway

In the aftermath of September 11, a number of new ferry services were instituted to take passengers to Manhattan destinations. The new services were necessitated by the fact that some of the subway lines were no longer running and because the PATH trains that ran under the World Trade Center were no longer accessible. Two of the major additions to the ferry runs were the free ferry that runs from Bay Ridge in Brooklyn to Pier 11 in Manhattan and expanded ferry service from a number of New Jersey locations to both the World Financial Center and to Pier 11. The ferry service caught on. Ridership increased daily, particularly on the free Brooklyn run. The reason for the institution of those services is long gone. The subway and PATH are both back in full service. Yet, the ferry service continues. Just last week, the city agreed to continue the free Brooklyn service for the foreseeable future. The New Jersey service has been expanded. Why then is Rockaway continually told that the city will not subsidize any ferry service? The city has subsidized the Staten Island Ferry for dozens of years, even with the advent of the bridge to Staten Island. The Port Authority subsidizes the ferry services to New Jersey. The ferry service to Brooklyn is subsidized partially by the city and partially by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a response to September 11. Why can't a Rockaway ferry be subsidized by FEMA as well? It makes no sense to us that all of our politicians agree that we need a ferry service, but that they can't get the job done, while the politicians from Bay Ridge can. Both Joe Addabbo and Jim Sanders are on the city council's waterfront usage committee. Sanders speaks of "bringing home the bacon" for Rockaway. Perhaps it is time that he begins.

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