Pols Call for Ferry Service

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

The Rockaway Ferry has been extended into next year and now two elected officials are calling on all mayoral candidates to support its permanent service.

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) are asking every candidate running for Mayor to sign a pledge backing the service that runs from the Rockaways to Manhattan.

Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the ferry would continue to run until Jan. 31, 2014. Although both Ulrich and Goldfeder said they were elated about that announcement, they are asking for the candidates’ support as the next Mayor will decide if the ferry will continue to serve commuters past early next year.

“Our constituents deserve permanent ferry service and the future Mayor of our great city is the only one who can guarantee that,” Ulrich said.

In a press release issued by Ulrich’s office, Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and Republican candidate Joe Lhota both said they would support keeping the ferry full-time.

“When I’m Mayor, I’ll make that ferry permanent, and make sure it stays at the current $2 fare,” Quinn said in a statement.

Making this ferry service permanent will make a big difference in improving the quality of life for New Yorkers,” Lhota said.

Dani Lever, a spokeswoman for Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, said they would evaluate the service before making any permanent decisions on it.

“Bill Thompson supports and would continue the ferry service to the Rockaways, but would evaluate ridership as well as meet with the community before making long-term decisions,” she said in an email.

The Bill de Blasio, John Liu and Sal Albanese campaigns also said they support making the ferry permanent.

The ferry, located at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive in the Rockaways, costs $2 to ride, cheaper than the $2.50 subway fare.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.