Theres been a move, in recent years, to utilize New York Citys ample waterways for transportation. Ferries have been added to link neighborhoods in northern Brooklyn and Queens to the east side of Manhattan, and, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, ferry service was added between the Rockaways and Manhattan to make up for limitations on subway service caused by the storm.It should now be Southwest Brooklyns turn. For years, local activists have tried with limited success to get ferry service, once a staple from Bay Ridges 69th Street Pier, returned to the area. After 9/11, thanks to the intercession of area elected officials, ferry service was restored, linking the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park with Manhattan.But, eventually, that was eliminated by the administration, which has steadfastly declined to restore ferry service at the 69th Street Pier, despite funding that was put in place to build the necessary docking paraphernalia.Now, Southwest Brooklyn straphangers are facing an impending transit nightmare the 14-month-long suspension of R train service through the Montague Tube connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.With the tube severely damaged by floodwaters from Sandy, the MTA must do extensive repairs, necessitating the closure which means that commuters who use the R train will find themselves transferring at Pacific Street or Boro Hall for another train that connects to Manhattan.A ferry would provide a sensible, efficient option for the myriad of commuters facing longer, more arduous commutes for the protracted period of time it will take to repair the Montague Tube. Thats what local activists and those who represent them are asking for, and what should be provided to them, without question and without further delay.There may be straphangers who will choose to continue commuting via subway, and cope with the transfers. But, that should be their choice not the solution of last resort from a city that turns a deaf ear to their requests.
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