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Farewell to the ferry

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Ferry service to Sunset Park will likely end in October.

Rockaway Ferry Service carried Brooklynites to lower Manhattan for 13 months while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority repaired R train tunnels connecting the two boroughs, and riders said they’ll miss the salt air and shorter commutes.

“There may not be 100 percent ridership, but for the people who take it, it makes 100 percent of the difference,” said Bay Ridge resident Karen Hennigen, one of dozens of riders returning home from Manhattan at Sunset Park’s 58th Street Pier on Sept. 22.

And it was a boon for more than just Manhattan-bound commuters, one rider said.

“Increasing my travel time to four hours a day is going to be a nightmare,” said John Rochford, a Rockaway resident who takes the ferry to his job in Sunset Park.

On the ferry, Rochford’s commute clocks in at a relatively trim 1 hour and 40 minutes, he said.

The city revived the defunct service to ease straphanger pain while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority rebuilt the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged Montague tubes, which finally reopened last week.

Initially, the boat was a short-term solution, but the city extended the service several times since 2012, ultimately deciding to run the ferry until the R train could once again cross the East River.

A city spokesman said the service will likely end in October, but there is hope.

“Barring an extraordinary increase in ridership that brings cost down significantly, this is not a service we’ll be able to continue past October,” said mayoral spokesman Wiley Norvell.

But the city will look at September ridership before making a decision, he said.

A local councilman who pushed for the ferry’s extension said the city has the cash to keep the ferry afloat.

“Eight million dollars in the city budget is a drop in the bucket,” said Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge).

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Fred from Sunset park says:
Unfortunately, the commuters are only working class shlubs, mostly Hispanic, in an area full of working class shlubs. I'm sure if the area was primarily wealthy whites like the ones living in Gowanus, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Greenpoint & Dumbo, the city would be tripping over themselves building gondolas & terminals. Sonny was right. The working man is a sucker
Sept. 28, 2014, 12:16 pm

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