"Today, I witnessed what many Rockaway residents thought might never happen, a credible commuter ferry run to Manhattan," State Senator Joseph Addabbo said at the launch.
According to a spokesman for the Economic Development Corporation, the first day went off without a hitch for Rockaway residents that used the service. Boats were on time and ridership was high with actual commuters and not just residents curious about the new service.
Addabbo and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato were part of that inaugural one-hour ride to Manhattan, which made a stop at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
"This ferry is exactly what we've needed to give Rockaway residents something approaching a normal commute,” said Pheffer Amato. “To get that commute in speed and style a month early? We're over the moon.”
Sheila Fleisher loved the ferry when it serviced the peninsula after Hurricane Sandy, and is excited to see its return.
“It’s fabulous,” Fleisher said of the launch. “My daughter lives out in Wading River and she’s coming Saturday. We’re going to take the ferry with my grandkids to the city.”
In addition to being an alternative to the A train for commuters, Fleisher thinks the ferry will be great for summer beachgoers, especially since the ferries will have bike racks.
“It’s great for people coming to the city from Rockaway with their bikes,” she said. “And families coming with their beach gear, they can walk right down to the beach.”