Those Hoping To Get To The Rockaways Or Governors Island Experience Lengthy Wait Times, Say Service Not Meeting The Demand


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There has been plenty of frustration this Memorial Day weekend due to service to the beaches on NYC Ferry. Many riders have encountered long lines.

The unofficial start of summer always comes with barbecues and beaches, but this year there has also been aggravation for hundreds of New Yorkers looking to escape the city by sea.

For the past two days, long lines have welcomed beach goers hoping to have some fun in the sun at the Rockaways and Governors Island. Starting as early as 10 a.m. on Monday, lines as long as city blocks stretched along Pier 11 at Wall Street, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.

A ferry sails past the Brooklyn Bridge on its way from downtown Manhattan to Rockway beach in New York on May 1, 2017.  (Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

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Some people couldn’t even get on the ferry after waiting in line for half an hour since the vessel reached its capacity so quickly.

The city’s ferry service is run by the organization Hornblower. It sent out an alert warning people about a high-passenger advisory, asking all riders to allow themselves additional travel time. But many riders were upset about the amount of ferries the company is using on Memorial Day.

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The Rockaway route operates additional service every 28 minutes on weekends and holidays, but travelers said Monday that’s not enough to keep up with the high demand that continues to grow.

“I do think that there should be more ferries. That would really help,” said Hannah Moore of the East Village.

“It’s terrible. I have been on this ferry many times. I’ve never seen the wait like this,” said Nancy Halpern of the Upper East Side.

“It’s always a bit of a process,” UES resident Nicole Towner added.

“‘Disappointment’ is more of the word,” said Rachel Myers of Battery Park.

Myers and her friends had to wait an extra 40 minutes in line because their Rockaway Beach-bound ferry they were trying to get on was full, which meant it had to skip over picking up people at the next stop, the Sunset Park Terminal, altogether.

“They told us that they were at capacity, even though the ferry wasn’t supposed to leave until 11:15. It left prematurely because it was full,” Myers said.

Many were asking for more ferries at take off and when returning to the city. Some riders said they had to cut their time at the beach because of crowds.

“The trick is, we try to plan it so we hit the ferry before the rush of everybody going home,” said Sam Lunetta of the Upper West Side.

A one-way pass on the ferry is $2.75, the same as the bus or subway.