Some Commuters Want Rockaway Ferry To Stay After Full Subway Service Returns
The A train is coming back to the Rockaways in Queens, but the Rockaway ferry that arrived in its place may be discontinued. Some commuters told NY1 on Thursday morning that they hoped the special transportation can stick around. NY1's Transit reporter Jose Martinez filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
For six months, the Rockaway ferry has been Sheila McCarthy's preferred means of commuting to her job in Lower Manhattan.
"It's stress-free. It's relaxing, it's no hustling and it's awesome," McCarthy said.
The city-subsidized ferry became a key transit option for Rockaways residents after Hurricane Sandy wiped out A train service on the Queens peninsula, making commuters try out new ways of getting to work.
"I would drive to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, park there and I would take two trains to get into Manhattan," McCarthy said.
With the A train set to return May 30, ferry regulars like McCarthy are wondering what will become of the $2-per-ride trip that takes them from Beach 108th Street to Wall Street in a scenic 45 minutes.
The city introduced the ferry last November, saying Seastreak would offer the service until the A subway line was restored.
"It was incredibly needed after the disaster and it's fulfilled the role beautifully," said a ferry rider.
Some commuters aboard the 7:45 a.m. ferry hoped the city keeps it around longer.
"I understand it's going to require some kind of subsidy to continue, but what kind of public transportation doesn't require some kind of subsidy?" a commuter said.
Queens Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder has started a petition drive to keep the Rockaway ferry going even after the A train returns. But in 2010, another Rockaway ferry service was shut down for lack of ridership.
The petition has picked up more than 2,500 signatures since being launched last week.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation has not released ridership figures for the ferry or revealed if there has been a change to the agency's original plan.
As the clock ticks down to the return of the A train, ferry riders said they will continue to enjoy the views and the commute. How many subway riders can say that?