2010-04-16 / Editorial/Opinion

A Commuter Ferry That Makes Sense For Rockaway

There is a concerted effort to save the Rockaway commuter ferry service, which is now slated to end for good on July 1. That the ferry is still running is credited to City Councilman Eric Ulrich, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and several other councilmembers who threw some money in the pot to keep it up and running. Chances are, it will not be running on July 2 unless ridership increases exponentially. Those who seek to keep the service running have placed a survey online, asking Rockaway residents for a wish list of what they would want for their commuter ferry. That survey can be completed online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/B2Z69PK. We think that the survey will show that there are several elements that need to be changed in order to provide the ridership the service needs to keep running. First, at least two other stops must be added at the Rockaway end. Perhaps one at the center of the peninsula, for example. There is a marina at Beach 59 Street just off Beach Channel Drive that has a dock and ample parking space. Then, perhaps another at Beach 108 or Beach 116 Street. Secondly, at least one other stop must be provided at the Manhattan end. The present single stop at Pier 11 is adequate only for those who work in the Wall Street area. Third, at least two high-speed boats must be utilized to provide a timely trip on the needed four runs in the morning and four in the evening. Lastly, plans should be made to run the ferry on weekends to bring tourists from Manhattan to the beaches at Rockaway and the Gateway National Recreation Area. Rockaway is surrounded by water and needs ferry service. If it is only usable by those who live in the extreme west end of the peninsula who work near Wall Street, however, the service will never get the riders it needs to remain viable.

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Bravo! Finally, a real,

Bravo! Finally, a real, comprehensive commuter plan to service the ROCKAWAY residents and dramatically increase ridership. If we propose this to our representatives at Tuesday's meeting, will they really care??

This seems reasonable. Access

This seems reasonable. Access to the ferry is quite important along with the need for additional Manhattan stops. A midtown stop--even as far north as 59th street would be very useful. From there, a commuter could head uptown or downtown--as needed. Right now, only the Wall Street types are served. No small wonder ridership is down.

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