Rockaway Ferry Extended until May 2014

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

The Rockaway Ferry has been given yet another extension and it could possibly be running on a permanent basis.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that the Rockaway Ferry would continue to run until May, with another option to extend it to August.  A Request for Proposal has also been sent out, looking for a permanent operator to the service.

The Mayor said in a statement that he is committed to rebuilding the Rockaways.

“From accelerating rebuilding programs to today’s ferry extension, we are going to keep our focus on communities hit hard by Sandy to ensure no one is left behind,” de Blasio said.

A horde of Queens elected officials chimed in their approval of the announcement, including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

“I applaud the decision of Mayor de Blasio to extend ferry service in the Rockaways. Affordable and fast transportation is vital to the growth and future of the peninsula,” she said.

While residents of the Rockaways, as well for those who live in Brooklyn and Manhattan, will continue to get ferry service, it will come with a price. The fee for the ferry will increase from $2.00 to $3.50 as a result of the extension.

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) said he does not think the bigger fare will deter residents from taking the ferry because it is still cheaper than the $6 it costs to take the express bus.

“It’s still a good deal in my book,” he said.

Goldfeder added that there is potential concern if the price tag for the boat rises more in the future but that is a conversation that will be had if it occurs. Since its inception in Nov. 2012, the ferry has carried more than 200,000 passengers from the Queens peninsula to lower Manhattan.

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