As summer starts to laze its way to a close (can you believe that some kids are already going back to school?) Gothamist finds that our thoughts, and the A train, keep taking us back to Rockaway. But wouldn't it be nice if going to the beach didn't automatically require an hour-long train trip? What if you could just hop onto a boat to get there (á la the Staten Island Ferry)?
Last week Congress authorized $15 million to buy three ferries for that purpose, at the request of Representative Anthony D. Weiner, as part of a federal transportation bill. That money might get the boats (uncertain though, as the cost of ferries can be quite high) but then a number of other problems arise, like where do they put the boats (probably Riis Park) and who will pay for the upkeep (*cough* silence *cough*).
This isn't the first time that the idea of a Rockaway ferry has come up. Since 2002 the City Council has appropriated $300,000 to subsidize a ferry system but there have been no private companies interested (well, New York Waterway was interested but after its 2003, weekends-only, $26 round-trip, pilot program failed they seem to have cooled on the idea). But now maybe, just maybe, the time has come for a publicly funded Rockaway Ferry?
While Gothamist is adamant that we would ferry to Rockaway, would you?
Photograph by Kirk Condyles for the New York Times.