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Rockaway Ferry Gets Last-Minute Lifeline

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A last-minute deal between City Council members and the mayor's office has allowed ferry service from Manhattan to the Rockaways, Queens to be extended through July. NY1's CeFaan Kim filed the following report.

Friday was supposed to be the Rockaway Ferry's last run, but a last-minute deal between city council members and the mayor's office means the ferry will stay afloat until July, the end of the city's fiscal year.

"Absolutely thrilled, I really am just very, I really can't express it," said ferry rider Ellen McCarthy.

McCarthy said she uses the ferry every day, and without it her commute would take take twice the time it takes her now.

The service is heavily subsidized by city money, but that money ran out. The New York Water Taxi operates the service, which takes riders from Breezy Point to Pier 11 near Wall Street, in about an hour for $6 each way.

"I depend on this totally. In fact, I was working part-time. I went back to working full-time because of this ferry," said McCarthy.

In order to keep it going, the city came up with nearly $200,000, the ferry's operator agreed to take in less money, and the ferry will now make one trip a day instead of two from Monday through Friday.

The new schedule has the ferry leaving Breezy Point at 7:30 a.m., Brooklyn at 8:10 a.m., and Wall Street at 8:30 a.m., and departing from Wall Street at 5:40 p.m., Brooklyn at 6 p.m., and arriving in the Rockaways at 6:40 p.m.

"This was literally a deal that was brokered at the 11th hour, between the mayor's office, [City Council] Speaker Christine Quinn, myself and Councilmembers Vinny Gentile of Bay Ridge and Sarah Gonzalez in Sunset Park," said Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich.

It is too soon to tell whether the ferry service will continue beyond July, but Ulrich is hopeful. His office is organizing a town hall meeting in the coming weeks to get input from the community.

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