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Rockaway Ferry Floats On Through May, But Trip Will Cost Nearly Double

By Katie Honan | January 20, 2014 8:08pm
 The ferry was brought to the peninsula in November 2012 after the A train was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The ferry was brought to the peninsula in November 2012 after the A train was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
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Courtesy Seastreak

ROCKAWAY BEACH — Service on the Rockaway ferry will steam on — but it will cost nearly double what it does now.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce Tuesday that the ferry, which the city started after Hurricane Sandy knocked out A train service to the peninsula in 2012, will be extended until May with an option to extend until August, according to local civic leaders. It was originally slated to end on Jan. 31.

The extension will come at a cost, though; the ride, which has cost $2 each way since it started, will be bumped up to $3.50 per ride.

The current ferry shuttles passengers in the morning and evening from Beach 108th Street in Rockaway Beach with stops at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Pier 11/Wall Street and East 34th Street.

The route remains the same, as well as the number of rides, according to officials familiar with the plan and members of the civic group Committee to Save the Rockaway Ferry.

The Economic Development Corporation will also issue a request for proposals in February to explore making the ferry permanent, and will evaluate ridership to determine if the ferry will be extended through Aug. 1, the civic group said.

The ferry is currently operated by Seastreak.

This is the fourth extension since the ferry first set sail in November 2012. The boat has carried nearly 200,000 passengers, according to the city.

When he was running for mayor, de Blasio vowed to keep the ferry permanent, and even said he'd support a bus rapid transit corridor to benefit Rockaway, according to The Wave. 

While the extension is encouraging to local leaders and activists, it still doesn't offer a guarantee, they pointed out.

"This isn't a victory yet," said Joe Hartigan, a retired fire lieutenant who has worked to get a ferry to the peninsula since 1998.

"There's still more work to be done."