Rockaway Commuter Ferries Keep Sailing — For Now

Mayor de Blasio is expected to announce Tuesday morning that the service, which was fated to end on Jan. 31, is being extended while the city solicits bids for a contractor to provide the ferries on a permanent basis.
“This is a huge step and we will keep pushing until permanent service is in place,” the Committee to Save the Ferry said in an email and sources confirmed late Monday.
The citizens group — which held rallies and conducted letter-writing campaigns in recent weeks during a vigorous effort to save the service, said the ferry’s fare would be raised to $3.50 — up from the current $2 — during an extension of 3 to 6 months.
Under the deal, service will be extended for the fourth through sixth months if ridership does not drop more than 50%.
The popular service, operated by Seastreak and generously subsidized by the government to help commuters after the A train was knocked out by Superstorm Sandy, carries commuters from Rockaway Beach to Wall St. in 35 minutes — shaving off nearly two-thirds of the time the same trip takes on the subway.
The $2 service runs from Beach 108th St. and Beach Channel Dr. in the Rockaways, stops at the new 58th St. landing in the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park and continues on to Pier 11 in lower Manhattan and E. 34th St. in midtown.
The service was already extended three previous times; each time, residents and elected officials have touted its role in the revitalization of the storm-torn region.
Ferry utilization has been on the rise, records show, and officials across the boroughs have been calling for the city to invest in new routes.
It was unclear Monday whether the service would continue for Sunset Park.
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