Addressing Ferry Long Waits

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The Rockaway ferry is being used—a lot. This has led to long waits, and some even getting left behind at the dock. What is being done to address these issues?

Last weekend, American Princess Cruises was spotted at the Beach 108th dock. According to an NYC Ferry spokesperson, “To accommodate the mass demand on the Rockaway Route last weekend, which usually has two to three vessels, we had five vessels total to transport beachgoers as the other boats reached capacity. Across all three routes, there were 11 NYC Ferry boats and three chartered vessels: two from NY Waterway and one American Princess.” Even so, wait times were still problematic. The number of ferry riders increased across the city last weekend, making it the biggest travel weekend yet. There were 10,3000 riders on the Rockaway route, compared to 8,000, the weekend of June 10, which was the previous high.

A New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) press release stated last week that three new boats, built to accommodate 250 riders rather than the current 149, would be added to the fleet. We reached out to the NYCEDC to find out when, and if any of these boats would be used in Rockaway. A spokesperson said the boats will arrive sometime next year, and it was unclear if they would be used in Rockaway, as the spokesperson was unsure if they were “seafaring vessels” that could handle the ocean.

NYCEDC also said that actions are being taken to accommodate those who board the Rockaway-bound boat at Sunset Park. NYC Ferry has started to hold some seats at Pier 11, during peak travel times on weekends so the stop in Brooklyn can be made to pick up passengers there.

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