ROCKAWAY PARK — City officials announced they will provide a free shuttle bus to the Rockaway ferry that stretches from Beach 35th to Beach 169th streets — expanding on the original bus route by a few miles.
The Economic Development Corporation said they're expanding the route — which originally only went from the ferry dock at Beach 108th Street to Beach 67th street — based on community meetings.
“We were proud to partner with the community and local leaders to develop a shuttle service that will help even more Rockaway residents access the ferry, and connect to good jobs and opportunities throughout the five boroughs," EDC President Maria Torres-Springer said in a statement.
The new route not only expands east, to Beach 35th Street in Bayswater, but it also continues west to Beach 169th Street, near Fort Tilden. Officials will also create a new ferry parking lot at Beach 35th Street for commuters.
Councilman Donovan Richards said the new route makes the ferry a "viable option" for more of the peninsula, and "will help alleviate the crowded A train and improve transportation access for the majority of peninsula residents."
Citywide Ferry service is set to begin next summer, with Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen saying last year could be as early as June 2017. The city predicts 4.6 million passenger rides each year along the six routes, which also includes South Brooklyn, and Astoria by 2017, and Soundview and the Lower East Side by 2018.
The bus is estimated to take around 25 minutes from the end of either the eastbound or westbound terminus. Each route will have six stops, along existing bus stops, officials said.
The bus routes on the eastern end will be:
► Rockaway Beach Blvd. & Beach 86th St.
► Beach Channel Drive and Beach 67th St.
► Beach Channel Drive and Beach 54th St.
► Beach Channel Drive and Beach 41st St.
► Beach Channel Drive and Beach 35th St.
On the western ends, the bus will stop at:
► Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 127th St.
► Rockaway Beach Blvd. and Beach 135th St.
► Rockaway Beach Blvd. and Beach 149th St.
► Jacob Riis Park Road and Bath House
► Rockaway Point Blvd. and Beach 169th St., on weekdays only