By Sarina Trangle

Rockaway won’t let its SeaStreak ships go down without a fight.

Rockaway’s elected officials said they were scheduled to meet with Mayor Bill de Blasio this week to pitch plans for continuing ferry service that served as a lifeline in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

SeaStreak began operating boats from Beach 108th Street to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and downtown Manhattan shortly after the storm washed over the A train tracks, cutting off subway service to the peninsula.

As of press time, ferries were slated to dock Oct. 31 because funding for the route did not make it into the city budget.

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) drafted a letter signed by several state and city officials requesting a meeting with de Blasio about the ferry.

“I want to talka about the Rockaways in a holistic way… and how we can make sure transportation-wise, and infrastructure-wise, and economic development-wise, and protection-wise, we improve,” Meeks said, declining to identify which funding streams he was eyeing or the nuances of his argument for the ferry.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) said the request for a meeting was initially turned down, but the mayor agreed to meet with elected officials after plans for a homeless shelter on the penninsula surfaced.

“I will remain optimistic,” Addabbo said, noting he hoped at minimum a six-month service extension could be arranged, which would buy him time to secure state funds for it. “In [de Blasio’s] estimation, the ferry was a stop gap measure. In my opinion, it was a necessity even before Sandy. Transportation is deplorable for my residents.”

Many Rockaway residents pushed for the city to find the $5 million estimated annual cost of the route in the $75 billion budget at rallies, protests and press conferences.

De Blasio’s office has said it did not think the ferry was financially sustainable.

But Rockaway residents pointed out the area’s ferries did not run on weekends or as frequently as other routes, which they believe skewed cost analysis comparisons.

Joe Hartigan, a retired firefighter and ferry advocate, said the $5 million cost amounted to a sliver of the city’s budget.

“If you can’t get .007 percent of the city budget, maybe you don’t belong in politics,” he said.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at stran‌[email protected]‌ngloc‌al.com.

Related Stories
JFK Redevelopment Community Outreach Office opens in Jamaica
JFK Redevelopment Community Outreach Office opens in Jamaica
2019 Queens Courier Person of the Year: Rick Cotton, Port Authority boss, helping the airports soar
2019 Queens Courier Person of the Year: Rick Cotton, Port Authority boss, helping the airports soar
Popular Stories
33 two-family Bay Lane Estates townhouses set to rise in Bayside
'What we’re seeing is a shift': The growing popularity of Flushing and Jamaica will impact all of Queens for decades
Flushing man wins $5,000,000 on 'Set for Life' scratch-off ticket


Skip to toolbar