City announces expanded shuttle service for Rockaway ferry
by Patrick Kearns
Nov 15, 2016 | 2697 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rockaway residents worried about access to the soon-to-be-launched ferry got some welcome news from the Economic Development Corporation with the announcement of expanded free shuttle bus routes.

A major concerns has consistently been the equity of access to the ferry landing, which will be at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive in the middle of the peninsula.

The expanded route will run four miles from the landing in each direction to Beach 169th Street in Breezy Point and Beach 35th Street in Far Rockaway.

"The announcement about the ferry service returning to the Rockaways in 2017 was exciting news for the transit-starved peninsula, but the original shuttle proposal ending at Beach 65th Street prevented many east-end residents from seeing it as a viable option," said Councilman Donovan Richards.

"The extension announced today will allow residents as far east as Beach 35th Street utilize the ferry service, which will help alleviate the crowded A train and improve transportation access for the majority of peninsula residents,” Richards added.

The eastbound shuttle bus will start at Beach 35th Street and make stops at Beach 41st Street, Beach 54th Street, Beach 67th Street, Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 86th Street.

The westbound shuttle bus will start at Rockaway Point Boulevard and Beach 169th Street on weekdays only, and stop at Jacob Riis Park Road and Bath House, Beach 149th Street, Beach 135th Street and Beach 127th Street.

EDC estimates that the trip will take approximately 25 minutes from starting point to the ferry landing.

The stops were optimized to ensure buses will meet hourly ferry arrivals and departures.

Since the announcement of the ferry's return – slated for 2017 in Rockaway – EDC has held multiple community town hall meetings with accessibility to the terminal being a consistent theme. Some residents have suggested additional ferry stops with the fear of how long shuttle buses will take.

The new citywide ferry system is expected to launch in summer 2017 with an initial 21 stops in Rockaway, south Brooklyn and Astoria. It will cost the same as a subway ride.

“The new ferry will make the arduous commute to Manhattan much more convenient for our residents and it will spur economic development on the peninsula,” said Community Board 14 district manager Jonathan Gaska. “We also expect it to bring significant tourist spending during the summer beach season, which our struggling merchants depend on.”
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