The mass transit experts, community activists and daily commuters who waste an hour of extra travel time every working day have been demanding that the MTA reopen the Rockaway Beach Line since service to Penn Station was ended and commuters were temporarily diverted through Brooklyn in 1956.
The railroad was serving Rockaway when horses were pulling plows and milk wagons.
We held large meetings and small working sessions, testified at public hearings, made videos, and carefully produced a brochure and collected thousands of signatures on petitions. We lobbied numerous politicians some of whom have actively supported our efforts.
We did not make $50,000 contributions, or as far as I know make any contributions other than our votes, to get the support of any public official.
The influence of giant corporations like Genting may overshadow our efforts. We are happy to work along side them when our goals are similar. We believe that our efforts will eventually succeed.
Branch lines of the LIRR to Long Beach, Oyster Bay and West Hempstead continue to function. Would anyone dare to close these lines because they don’t have a casino?
If every rider who endures our unnecessarily slow and inefficient service or would make use of the service if it was rapid and direct would withhold their support from any politician who refuses to assist us, we might be able to get as much attention as a $2 million contribution.
Civic leaders from all over Queens will meet at the Maple Grove Center 127-15 Kew Gardens Road on June 18 at 7 p.m. to hear a discussion of the reopening of the Rockaway Line. It is a good place to begin to get the message out to Queens and then New York State leaders.