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Free Ferry Shuttle Plan Leaves Far Rockaway Residents Feeling Disconnected

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When the city brings permanent ferry service to the Rockaways next year, there's a plan in the works for a free shuttle bus to the dock. But as NY1's Clodagh McGowan explains, there are limitations to that shuttle bus service. Bringing a ferry service back to the Rockaways is part of the city’s plan to expand transportation options for the area, next year. While the contract hasn’t been formally awarded yet, the city wants the ferry operator to provide free shuttle service to the Jamaica Bay dock on Beach 108th Street. 

However, plans for the shuttle only have it going as far east as Beach 67th Street, leaving the more populated, east end of the peninsula without free access to the ferry. "So that would affect 50-thousand or more Rockaway residents who are disproportionately black and Latino," said Silaka Cox, the chief operations officer for the Rockaway Youth Task Force. Cox says the ideal option is to send an express shuttle to and from Mott Avenue. She says because many Far Rockaway residents don't own cars, driving to the ferry just isn't an option. "They would have to pay for local public transportation, the Q22 and then pay to get on the ferry. Or they would have a long commute either way by having to take the (A) train into Manhattan," added Cox.

Councilmember Donovan Richards, who represents Far Rockaway, says the limited shuttle service could affect ridership. "You're not doing a complete service to the entire Rockaways. So this is about transit equity,” said Richards. Temporary ferry service first hit the waters after Hurricane Sandy knocked out (A) train service to the peninsula. The city extended it multiple times but eventually cut it due to the high subsidy cost, amid protests from residents. Last year, Mayor de Blasio unveiled a blueprint for increased ferry service, including a return to the Rockaway ferry. A spokesman for the city's economic development corporation says, “We are committed to working with the community to ensure that the free ferry shuttle will be reliable and maximize connectivity for Rockaway residents.” Cox, however, says that will only happen when there's equal service for all residents.


Source: http://www.ny1.com/nyc/queens/news/2016/03/14/free-ferry-shuttle-plan-leaves-far-rockaway-residents-feeling-disconnected.html


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Doesn't Arverne have the same racial make up as Far Rockaway? I'm not sure where Cox is going with the race card, unless this person is afraid that the shuttle will go straight to Arverne at the Sea.

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