Ferry Funds Dry Up

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

All aboard the A train. (Courtesy NY Water Taxi)

Commuters who have come to rely on the ferry that connects the Rockaways and Wall Street will have to find another way to get to work starting March 19. The city has subsidized the route since it launched plans for new and expanded ferry service in 2008, but last year’s average ridership was a little more than half of the 300-passenger daily quota required to continue funding.

Washed up. (Courtesy NYT)

Cancellation of the Rockaway route is just the latest in a series of delays for the Economic Development Corporation’s plans to bring reliable ferry service to the five boroughs. Though those affected by water taxi cancellations have received a lot of attention, they are still relatively few in number when compared with the thousands who opt to ride the train each day. But Tom Fox, president of ferry operator New York Water Taxi, said the Rockaway route was one of the few that saw increased ridership over the past year and should be kept running. For now, the EDC’s solution is to conduct another citywide study to determine the most effective routes and landing sites—but until they do, those depending on ferry service find themselves lost at sea.

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