The Rockaways, down a subway, get a city-subsidized ferry

In the Rockaways. (ma neeks via Flickr)
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The Rockaways have no subway service off the peninsula for the foreseeable future.

So the city announced today that it is establishing ferry service between the Rockaways and Manhattan.

Starting 5:45 am on Monday, ferries operated by Seastreak, a private company, will pick up passengers at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive, and transport them to Manhattan, where they will dock at Pier 11 downtown. There, passengers can transfer for free to another ferry that will take them to 34th Street. One-way fares will cost $2.

The ferry will depart eight times a day from Rockaway, with the last trip leaving at 6:55 pm.

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The last ferry departs from East 34th Street at 7:30 pm, and Pier 11 at 7:50 pm, arriving in Rockaway at 8:40.

Hurricane Sandy inflicted serious damage on the subway bridge connecting Rockaway and Broad Channel, where straphangers transfer from the A train to the shuttle. Since then, peninsula residents have had to rely solely on buses to ferry them to the mainland, or else drive.

This new ferry service, which the city says will last as long as the shuttle remains out of service, is designed to ameliorate that.

“Until the reopening of subway service to the rest of the City is restored from the Rockaways, this temporary option will assist thousands of New Yorkers most impacted by this storm, allowing our City and our economy to take another step on the road to recovery," said Seth Pinsky, president of the city's Economic Development Corporation, in a statement.  

The EDC is subsidizing the ferry service, appropriating $3 million toward it for now.

"We're essentially chartering the boats from Seastreak," said EDC spokesman Ben Branham.

The EDC built a new landing using a barge over the course of the last week to accommodate the new ferry run, because the one that had been in place was damaged in the storm, Branham said.

Here's the full schedule: