Thursday, October 02, 2014

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Rockaway Residents Rally for Extended Ferry Service

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The Rockaway ferry has become very popular with residents and business owners, who are now pushing the city to keep the service going. They argue the ferry has helped their community in more ways than one since Hurricane Sandy. Rocco Vertuccio filed the following report.

The Rockaway Ferry’s days are numbered.

"I think it's ridiculous that they don't continue the service,” said one rider.

The city decided not to extend the service after October because it says it can't justify the cost to operate the boat. The Economic Development Corporation says about 400 people a day ride the ferry to and from the Rockaways. They pay 3.50 a ride. The EDC says it costs the city $30 a passenger.

"The city subsidies every other form of transportation why can't they subsidize this?” said another rider.

The ferry first hit the water after Hurricane Sandy knocked out the peninsula's A Train service. When the MTA restored the train, the city extended the ferry service several times. Rockaway residents who work in Manhattan say the city now needs to make it permanent.

"It's nice, it's convenient and everyone knows it's nice it's a nice way to get to work in the morning,” said a Rockaway resident.

Some Rockaway residents say the ferry has been a boon to the entire peninsula.

"We got a whole new influx of hipsters they're all coming out, new businesses are forming, this would encourage more of that,” said another resident.

Many commuters and even some Manhattan residents who now rely on the ferry to get to the beach say they are willing to pay more for the ferry if it helps save the service.

"Let's spilt the difference with the city, I would say,” said a rider.

The city did try to find a permanent operator for the ferry but so far the EDC has not found a bid if feels will work.

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