Wednesday, May 29, 2013 New York City – The ferry service from Manhattan to the Rockways will keep running for at least six more weeks and starting July 4, there will be an additional ferry run in each direction on Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day.
Hurricane Sandy damaged the A train. Mayor Bloomberg, New York City Economic Development Corporation and Seastreak announced in November 2012 a partnership to provide temporary ferry service between the Rockaways and Manhattan while subway service on that route was suspended. Even after the A train is restored May 30 in Rockaway, the ferry service will keep running.
Ferries depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive and stop at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan with free transfers between Pier 11 and East 34th Street in Midtown. Seastreak operates the ferry during weekdays.
The weekend service will be operated by TWFM Ferry Inc., which has been operating summer weekend service between Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan for the past several summers. 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.”
One-way fares are $2.00 dollars, cheaper and faster than the A train. Costs less to get to Wall Street from the Rockaways than from Midtown in Manhattan to Wall Street!
An earlier ferry fleet began service in May 2008, but lasted all of two years before it was mothballed due to low ridership. The cost per trip was $6.00 dollars.
The current ferry is highly subsidized with money from federal funds for Hurricane Sandy. If the government stops subsidizing this ferry, will people pay $6 or more per trip? Should Mayor Bloomberg continue using taxpayer money to pay private companies or should the money be invested in public schools, public parks, public libraries u other public services in the areas affected by Sandy? The ferry service was temporarily between the Rockaways and Manhattan as the train on that route was repaired. The A train will start working normally on Thursday, May 30.