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Rockaway Ferry Sails Into the Sunset on Halloween

By Katie Honan | October 31, 2014 11:34am
 The ride was given $2 million in the mayor's budget and will run through October.
The ride was given $2 million in the mayor's budget and will run through October.
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Laura Deckelman

ROCKAWAY PARK — The ferry that served commuters after Hurricane Sandy knocked out A train service is sailing off into the sunset Friday, despite a major push from local civic groups to keep it going.

The Rockaway ferry, operated by Seastreak, was set up in November 2012 to fill a gap when the A train was damaged in the storm.

It shuttled passengers in the morning and evening from Beach 108th Street in Rockaway Beach to the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Pier 11/Wall Street and East 34th Street, and cost $3.50 per ride.

But it will dock for the last time in Rockaway at 8:45 p.m. despite a push from local politicians and civic leaders who even put an ad out in an Italian newspaper to get the mayor's attention when he was on vacation there.

The ferry was granted multiple extensions, but in July the Economic Development Corporation said it could not find funding to keep the ride permanent. DNAinfo New York was the first to report the ride’s official end.

“As part of the Mayor’s executive budget, the city added funding for a fourth service extension to allow operation through October, supporting both Rockaway commuters and Brooklyn residents during the R train outage," said a spokeswoman for the city's Economic Development Corporation.

"The Rockaway ferry service will not operate beyond October."

At a recent job fair in Far Rockaway, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the service — which received a subsidy of about $30 a ride, according to the EDC — was never meant to be permanent.

“Look, the notion of the ferry was to address what was the absence of mass transit," he said. "That is the core reason the ferry was there, it was a stopgap, it was a temporary measure.”