Extra Rockaway Ferry stops to offset R train suspension

Photo by Christina Santucci
By Lisa Autz

Starting Monday, Rockaway ferry service will make an additional stop in Brooklyn due to suspended R train service.

The upcoming suspension will last for 14 months because of Hurricane Sandy-related repairs in the Montague tube. Service will cease from Whitehall Street in Manhattan to Court Street in Brooklyn.

The ferry alternative will run weekdays and stop at the Brooklyn Army Terminal on 58th Street in Sunset Park before continuing to Pier 11, near the South Street Seaport, and East 34th Street in Manhattan. The one-way ferry fare will be $2.

The ferry alternative, however, is not guaranteed to operate for much longer.

“The contract we have with the city expires at the end of August,” said Jim Barker, president of Seastreak, the company running the Rockaway Ferry service.

Ferry rides from the Rockaways to Manhattan began in November after the Rockaway A train system to the mainland was cut off by Sandy. Now, even after the train service is back, ridership on the ferries is still increasing, according to Barker.

If increased ridership continues, the city is likely to retain the ferry service.

“We are available and would like to participate in continuing the service,” said Barker about the future of the Rockaway ferries.

R train riders can also use substitute subway lines such as the Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 to connect between the two boroughs.

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