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Rockaway Residents Petition For Continuation Of Ferry Service

Residents And State Assemblyman Delivered 3,000 Signatures
Residents of the Rockaways hold petitions for ferry service on the steps of City Hall - June 28, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSnewYork) - Rockaway residents on Friday gathered on the City Hall steps to show Mayor Michael Bloomberg they are not ready to let their ferry to the city go away.

They said it has has been a lifeline for them since superstorm Sandy, according to State Assemblyman Philip Goldfeder.

“This is not coming from me, but this is coming from over 3,000 people who signed a petition to the mayor basically saying this ferry has got to stay,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that it took a natural disaster for the city to finally realize we’ve got to do something to help these people out.”

But with the A train back in service, Bloomberg has said he’ll keep the $2 ferry until Labor Day depending on demand, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported. The city has subsidized Seastreak Ferry to operate the service.

It has operated Monday to Friday from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive with stops at Pier 11/Wall Street and East 34th Street/FDR Drive.

“It’s a necessity. We need it. We’ve never had the transportation that we really need,” said Danny Rusillo, who has been fighting for permanent ferry service for the Rockaways for years.

Rusillo hopes the ferry will also bring more people and money to the peninsula where businesses are still struggling to recover.

“Our economy is really in the dumps. Having viable transportation alternatives will drive our economy. It’ll allow our residents to get back to work and it’s something that we need to ensure the full long-time recovery of Rockaway,” Goldfeder said.

“Mr. Mayor, we implore you, we need this ferry for good. We need this ferry for good,” Rusillo said.

Goldfeder pointed out that the city has been subsidizing ferry service to and from Staten Island for years and asked why the same shouldn’t be done for the Rockaways.

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