The Rockaway ferry service, due to stop at the end of this month, will continue through May, with the possibility of extending into August and perhaps permanently, Mayor de Blasio said Tuesday.
The catch? It will cost more.
The service, which began after Hurricane Sandy when the A train was disrupted for seven months due to storm damage, was extended three times before because of popular support. According to the city, the ferry has served more than 300,000 riders.
Seastreak, which runs ferries from Manhattan to New Jersey, operates the service. The boats depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive and terminate at East 34th Street with stops in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and Wall Street.
The ferry costs $2 per ride, but de Blasio said Tuesday the price will go up to $3.50. Service is extended through the end of May for now. An extension through August is possible if ridership doesn’t drop by 50 percent.
De Blasio also announced the city Economic Development Corporation has released a request for proposals to operate the service permanently.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park), who has long championed ferry service, even before Sandy, said he is excited about the news.
“The fact that they’ve issued the RFP is the big news here,” Goldfeder said. “I think it’s going to come down to city subsidies. I’m optimistic that we’re going to have full service.”
He credited Borough President Melinda Katz, who he said has been working with the EDC in the last few weeks to extend service and draft an RFP, as well as the mayor for his support.
“I’m proud to have new partners in government who understand the needs of our communities,” Goldfeder added.
He believes Seastreak and several other operators will respond to the RFP.
A similar ferry service was established in 2009, but ended a few months later due to low usage. That ferry cost $6.