The new subway-fare ferry service from Rockaway to Sunset Park, Manhattan, and other points is a huge success, with riders flocking to it in droves. It’s different, it’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s air conditioned! There’s only one problem: ridership is so high that you can’t get on the boat! This was a big problem over the Fourth of July weekend, with TV coverage of the long lines that formed at the ferries’ docks. We experienced this same problem back in June, trying to go from Sunset Park to the Rockaways. We’ve taken the more-expensive New York Water Taxi lines many times to Manhattan, Williamsburg, and the Rockaways and never got shut out of a trip. The newer service, at the cost of a subway fare (plus one dollar if you bring a bike), is attracting customers to the line and forcing us to do what almost all of us New Yorkers despise: wait! And at the Sunset Park dock, that means standing in the hot sun (now) or driving rain or winter’s bracing harbor winds (later).
We heartily support the new service, and we’re glad it’s such a big success. As a customer, you need to know a few things:
1) Know the schedule, and get there early or you’ll be waiting for the next boat.
2) But not too early, or you’ll feel like you missed the previous boat.
3) If you’re going on a lark, do your larking during the week, and not at rush hour. There will be less competition for a seat.
No doubt the long lines will shrink as summer draws to a close and the weather cools. The ferries should then be carrying mainly commuters; those who are just having a run ride or a day at Fort Tilden will be many fewer than now. Then there should be room for everyone.