Rockabus, the seemingly popular direct bus service to the secluded white sand beaches of Far Rockaway, Jacob Riis, and Fort Tilden, has suspended operations. The company had been in business for two years, running service between Williamsburg and the beaches using yellow school buses. It seemed to be a successful operation; last year Rockabus expanded operations with stops at Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza and the Lower East Side, charging $15 round trip. Well, the party bus is over; here's the statement from the owners:

Dear Friends,

So let’s get the bummer news out of the way first: the Rockabus will not be running this summer.

When we started Rockabus in June 2012, we weren’t sure how New Yorkers would respond to the idea of school buses shuttling adults to the beach since it hadn’t been done before. Much to our delight, beachgoers and other kindred spirits flocked to our service while the locals in Rockaway warmly embraced our customers and our staff. For this we are infinitely grateful.

It hasn’t been easy, though. Over the course of two summers, we dealt with a major natural disaster, tightened regulations that limited the types of buses we can use, and other challenges that are unique to seasonal businesses. Building Rockabus has been a learning process, to say the least.

And so because of the aforementioned challenges, as well as in the interest of expanding and enhancing our service, we have decided to not run the Rockabus this summer. Make no mistake, the Rockabus will return bigger, better, and dare we say more rockin’. This suspension in service will enable us to best accomplish that goal.

We look forward to seeing you on the bus again soon.

Sincerely,
Ryan & Sam

Reached by email, co-owner Sam Morrill declined to elaborate on the decision to suspend operations.

New York City beaches reopen for the season on Saturday, and fortunately you don't need Rockabus to get out there. For starters, there is a rival bus company, NYC Beach Bus, which operates service from Williamsburg and Park Slope. Round trip tickets cost $12 (you'll definitely want to buy them in advance), and they offer free Sixpoint beer, ice tea, and sunblock on board.

There is also the New York Beach Ferry, which costs a fortune on weekends ($30 round-trip). But thanks to city subsidies, Seastreak runs weekday ferry service that costs just $7 round trip. The ferry docks at a pier at Beach 108th Street (on the bay side); from there it's a 10-15 minute walk to the sand. Biking is also an option if you're feeling energized, and of course there's the A train to Far Rockaway; get off at Beach 90 or 98 Streets, then walk a few short blocks to the freaking ocean.