Praise From The Ferry Guy
I write to thank you for your efforts related to maintaining the Rockaway ferry service. I know you made every candidate running for office make a commitment to continue the ferry and you documented their responses. The effort by The Wave to advance the story from "a ferry tale" to "we have to keep it" did more than any committee letter (and I signed the letter). You highlighted the ferry issue by directly asking all candidates, including Mayor de Blasio, and the new acting head of the NYCEDC about their commitment to the ferry's future.
In my opinion, Borough President Melinda Katz gets the gold medal for her effort, despite the fact that she was only in office for three weeks. Impressive. Other city politicians, namely Eric Ulrich and Donavon Richards deserve credit too.
Additionally, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder has been very helpful, even before the ferry was even established at the 108th Street site. Shortly after the storm, I approached him about using the Keyspan site (Beach 108th Street) for parking and he immediately provided me with the right contact. Rockaway got free parking and the parking lot was paved two days later.
I’ve been advocating for Rockaway ferry service since 1996, pushing to get service from Manhattan to Rockaway to Kennedy Airport. Phil recently arranged two important meetings, which might help make that run a reality.
Again, I thank our new Mayor Bill de Blasio for his efforts, but now it is up to the Rockaway residents to "seal the deal." While I am concerned about the Rockaway ferry price increase, it is important to note the East River ferry runs all day long with weekend service. If Rockaway gets the same service, it may be easier to accept the fare increase.
In conclusion, the most effective way to ensure future ferry service is maintaining or increasing ridership these next several months. Ideas for securing ridership are welcome.
Please keep your ideas flowing.