2013-07-05 / Front Page

Ferry Staying For The Summer

First hurdle passed. The City announced on Tuesday that the Rockaway Ferry will be extended through Labor Day.

In late May, the Bloomberg administration announced the Rockaway Ferry would be extended even though the A Train had just come back into service. The administration warned that the extension was only guaranteed through July 12th. With the reactivation of the A Line, there was some concern that ridership would fall off as commuters opted for the subway. City officials said the ferry would shut down if ridership fell by more than 50 percent.

With the Tuesday announcement, the City acknowledged ridership has stayed strong. Many daily commuters say ridership has actually increased as the weather has drawn more visitors to Rockaway.

The ferry service which runs from Beach 108th Street to the city with stops at Wall Street and East 34th Street, began in November after Sandy crushed parts of the A Line, rendering it inoperable. According to the City, the ferry service has logged more than 90,000 passenger trips since its initial launch, with the average daily ridership about 700. The one way trip on the weekday ferry is $2.

“Ridership numbers show that this new ferry service is an important transportation option for Rockaway residents,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a press release. “The continuation of service, along with the additional weekend service we have also added, will allow the Rockaways to keep rebounding from Sandy.”

The weekend service is not the bargain of the weekday commute, however. Weekend rides cost $20 one-way and $30 round trip with extra fees for bicycles.

The announcement of the extension through Labor Day was cheered by locals throughout Rockaway and online at Facebook and Twitter. Councilman Donovan Richards said he’s pleased but holds out hope for more. “I commend the City on the decision. However, the high traffic of daily riders comes as no surprise to me. I know that Southeast Queens and especially the Rockaways as a whole, is underserved when it comes to public transit. This is why I have been fighting not only for the continuation of the ferry, but also for additional stops. I believe that we can increase ridership even further and show that the Rockaway ferry should no longer be thought of as temporary.”

Currently, the weekday service offers five rides in the mornings to Manhattan and five return trips in late afternoon and evening. For a full schedule and more information visit Seastreakusa.com

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