2010-04-09 / Front Page

Ferry Meeting Set For Belle Harbor

By Nicholas Briano
ABelle Harbor meeting has been set for Tuesday, April 20 to address the longevity of the Rockaway commuter ferry service from Riis Landing to Manhattan and back, says City Councilman Eric Ulrich, who is hosting the meeting, the second on the peninsula concerning the ferry service.

Community protests led Councilmember Ulrich to host the second of two town hall meetings on commuter ferry service on April 20 in Belle Harbor. Community protests led Councilmember Ulrich to host the second of two town hall meetings on commuter ferry service on April 20 in Belle Harbor. The Tuesday meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club, located at 533 Beach 126 Street.

According to Ulrich, a representative from the mayor’s office will appear on behalf of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the agency that is overseeing the ferry program. Also attending will be a representative of Speaker Christine Quinn, one of the councilmembers who recently funded a reprieve for the service, which was slated to end last month.

Ulrich encourages residents to come out and talk about which aspects of the ferry service they enjoy and wants suggestions from residents on ways to make the service more attractive to Rockaway residents.

A first meeting was held last week in Breezy Point, which Quinn attended with representatives from EDC. Many residents voiced concerns ranging from expensive fares to inconvenient scheduling.

The ferry service was scheduled to be terminated on March 19, but Ulrich, along with other councilmembers from Brooklyn, got an extension that will run through July 1.

In an attempt to reduce operating costs, the ferry will make one run each day instead of its previous two trips. The morning run will depart at 7:30 a.m. and leave from Pier 11 in the afternoon, at 5:40 p.m. with the fare staying at $6 each way.

The ferry service began in May 2008 and was subsidized with $1.5 million in funding from the City Council. It was supposed to last for two years, but was cut short due to low ridership. Ulrich and Councilmembers Vincent Gentile (Bay Ridge) and Sara Gonzalez (Sunset Park), whose constituents utilize the same ferry at the Brooklyn Army Terminal stop, allocated $200,000 to extend the service. Ulrich hopes the public’s participation in the town hall meetings will help prove the ferry’s significance to the community.

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Let's be serious. This is

Let's be serious. This is not a viable means of transportation for the daily commuters and homeowners of Rockaway. We need a real Commuter Ferry that will service the ROCKAWAY PENINSULA, with more than one stop. Not a tug boat that operates once a day from Riis Park, services 3 people, awards a hefty contract to the boat owner and costs the Queens taxpayers alot of money. I think I want that cushy job!


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