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Local News July 11, 2013  RSS feed

Rockaway Ferry Keeps On Going

Rush Hour Service In Peak Season

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel and city Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Seth W. Pinsky announced that weekday ferry service between the Rockaways and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan that began in November will continue to operate on its current schedule through Labor Day.

Ferries will continue to depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive, where the EDC has installed a temporary landing, and stop at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan with free transfers between Pier 11 and East 34th Street in Midtown.

The service will continue to start at 5:45 a.m. in the Rockaways with ferries departing for Manhattan regularly until 9:20 a.m., with regular service resuming during the evening rush. One-way fares will remain $2.

The Rockaway ferry service has allowed for more than 90,000 passenger trips since its initial launch in November, and since the extension of the weekday ferry service in May, the average daily ridership is approximately 700 passenger trips.

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

“We are pleased that the Rockaway ferry service will operate throughout the summer, and that it will continue to help spur the recovery of an area that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy,” added Pinsky. “The weekday ferry service, along with enhanced summer weekend service beginning this week, not only provides a convenient transportation option for local residents commuting to their jobs, but will also bring more visitors to the Rockaways during the important beach season, generating critical economic activity for the area.”

“Extending the Rockaway Ferry Service is another small but important measure the city is taking to help ease the recovery process for New Yorkers hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The ferry’s success again illustrates the demand for this alternate form of transportation and marks another step in the right direction toward our goal of five-borough ferry service. I look forward to continue working with the Administration to help neighborhoods recover from Sandy and improve our city's economy.”

“Kudos to Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Steel for continuing ferry service to and from the Rockaways,” said City Council Member Eric Ulrich. “Thanks to the strong demand, high ridership and local support, fast, reliable and convenient transportation is here to stay.”

“[This] announcement is another shot in the arm that will help to continue the post-Sandy recovery in Rockaway,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “The number of riders bears out the need for the ferry service. This travel option has a low fare and a high attraction for peninsula commuters, while it lowers pollutants from vehicles and provides a pleasant and comfortable ride, especially during the hot summer months of July and August.”

“The ferry service between Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive on the Rockaway Peninsula and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the viability of making greater use of the city’s waterways for public transportation,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks. “This is why I am sure Rockaway residents and people from all over the city will be delighted to hear that weekday ferry service will continue to operate on its current schedule through Labor Day weekend. They will also have access to enhanced Saturday and Sunday service, starting July 4 through Labor Day. New Yorkers from the other boroughs and beyond can hop on the ferry and come to the Rockaway Peninsula to enjoy its great beaches all summer long. “

“The Rockaway Ferry continuing its operation through Labor Day weekend is critical in addressing transportation needs and an integral piece of the rebuilding and revitalization puzzle,” said State Sen. James Sanders. “It's a valuable tool for getting hard working people to their destinations, including their places of employment. This is a good step forward, but lets stay mindful of the ever present challenge of transportation in the Rockaways.”

“I commend the city for extending this vital means of transportation for our communities struggling to recover eight months after Sandy, however our work is not done until the Rockaway ferry service is made permanent,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “The ferry is not only a smart and efficient means of travel, but it will continue to provide much needed transportation options and assistance to help our communities recover after Sandy.

“The extension of ferry services through the Labor Day weekend is clear evidence of the strong recovery and economic growth in the area devastated by the storm,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz, chair of the Council Committee on Economic Development. “This is very encouraging news that will capitalize on the stream of new visitors and tourists expected from the summer seasons. I applaud the administration for the extension which will continue to generate much needed economic activity in the region.”

In May, Bloomberg, Quinn and Pinsky announced the continuation of Rockaway Ferry service due to strong demand since its initial launch in the days immediately following Hurricane Sandy. At the time of the May extension, it was determined that weekday service would continue for at least six additional weeks, with the potential to continue the service through Labor Day weekend if ridership remained strong.

Due to the met demand, the weekday ferry will run through the rest of the summer, and will continue to be operated by Seastreak which has operated the service since its launch last November. The ferry will run on the same schedule during morning and evening rush hours.

It was also announced in May that in addition to extended weekday service, which began last Thursday, July 4, enhanced weekend service will launch between the Rockaways and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan every Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day. The enhanced weekend service will be operated by TWFM Ferry Inc., building upon their existing summer weekend service which has run between Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan for the past several summers. The weekend beach service fare is $30 roundtrip for adults, or $26 if transferring from the East River Ferry at Pier 11.

A full list of schedules and fares can be found at www.newyorkbeachferry.com

The city has agreed to assist in the expansion of this service by subsidizing an additional boat, which will allow for three morning runs from Manhattan to the Rockaways, as well as three return runs in the evenings. In addition, all weekend runs will now also stop at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive. Weekend service may be increased or reduced based on ridership demand.