2011-04-29 / Letters

Transportation Problems Persist

Dear Editor,

Transportation issues continue to be a cause for concern, particularly for those residents of the Rockaway peninsula who commute to and from lower Manhattan on a daily basis. The extension of the QM16 Express bus route to the Beach 169 Street bus stop, which is scheduled to begin this Monday, April 18, will make it more convenient for those in Breezy Point, Rockaway Point, and Roxbury who work in midtown Manhattan to get to and from work each day. However, that does nothing to address the transportation difficulties faced by those commuting from the Rockaways to downtown Manhattan.

Regular readers of The Wave know that this writer has been working with our local political leaders, including New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich, Democratic District Leader Lew Simon, and New York State Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, to improve transportation between the Rockaway peninsula and lower/downtown Manhattan. However, the MTA continues to tell us that there is not enough ridership to justify eith-er a downtown express bus, or even an increase in the number of buses that serve the Q35 bus route.

We need statistics to show the MTA that they are wrong. As regular readers also know, this writer has also been working to bring ferry service back to the Rockaways. There is a private ferry operator with a fast boat who has expressed interest in serving the Rockaways, but we need statistics to show him that there is enough potential ridership to make ferry service viable. Finally, the possibility of private express bus service from Rockaway to downtown/lower Manhattan is being explored. Once again, we need statistics to demonstrate that the requisite level of potential ridership exists.

How can you help? If you are a Rockaway resident and you work in lower/ downtown Manhattan five days a week, please email your name and contact information to sandybeachpoint @aol.com and answer the following questions: 1) In which neighborhood on the Rockaway peninsula do you live? 2) How do you currently travel to work? Additionally, if you are interested in either a commuter ferry direct to and from Rockaway or a downtown express bus direct to and from Rockaway, please answer the following questions as well: 3) If it was available, would you take a ferry to and from work every day? 4) If it was available, would you take a downtown express bus to and from work every day? 5) If only one of these modes of transportation was available, which one would you take to work every day: a ferry or a downtown express bus?

Meetings with interested parties are anticipated to occur in the next few weeks, so please submit the requested information as soon as possible, but no later than April 30. 2011.

ELLEN MCCARTHY

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