Ferry For Rockaway On Fast Track
By Miriam Rosenberg
The proposed ferry service from the Rockaways to Manhattan, which was announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a visit to Beach 126 on May 8, has been put on the fast track with a hope of getting it done by the end of this year.
"Basically, RFEI's [Requests for Expressions of Interest] are out," said Councilmember Joseph Addabbo, Jr., who added there have been some responses. "Ferry operators will be bidding on the proposal until mid-June. The mayor's office will then evaluate them." As reported in The Wave's May 11 issue, reports published after Bloomberg's announcement said at least two private ferry services planned to respond to the city's RFEI: New York Water Taxi and New York Waterway, the two largest players in the local ferry industry.
Addabbo continued by saying he should be receiving feedback from Bloomberg's office by the end of the month. The councilman said a concrete plan is hoped for by August or September.
"There are still lots of unknowns such as how many operators responded, cost and investment by the city," continued Addabbo. According to the PlaNYC 2030 report, the total cost of the ferry would be $40 million. The city expects to contribute $20 million to the project. Part of the strategy to raise the money needed would be the establishment of a new authority.
"We're hopeful by September we could have a run, and we're optimistic [to have it running] for the end of the year," said Addabbo.