As of May 31st, the 1 a.m. ferry leaving from Ocean Beach and Ocean Bay Park will cease immediately. According to Fire Island Ferries, the 1 a.m. crowd has now “morphed into a crowd of undesirables” that have become difficult to manage. The official statement claims that the recent changes in the ferry schedule are to protect employees and other passengers; however, moving forward, what are the implications for those who rely on the late-night ferry?
Many locals seem pleased with the decision to halt the late-night ferry. During the weekends leading up to the decision, several instances of inebriated crowds engaging in less than desirable behavior have been reported in the area. Current residents believe that the partying has gotten out of control, claiming that visitors are getting too drunk, publicly urinating and puking.
“This is the first step in taking back our village from chaos” says Mayor Mallot. By continuing to allow rowdy crowds to board the ferry, employees and passengers would be put at risk.
Going forward, the last ferry will leave Ocean Bay at 11:15 p.m. on Fridays and at 11 p.m. on Saturdays.
The local police have also released a statement saying that they will “closely monitor the new flow of passenger and deploy assets appropriately.”
The 1 a.m. ferry has been running since the 1990’s as a way to mitigate the number of people roaming the streets after hours in the Ocean Bay area. For now, it is hard to say whether the ferry service will permanently discontinue the 1 a.m. ride from Ocean Bay. Expected summer visitors have already begun voicing their concern over the ferry schedule. The Mayor has said he will review what happens with future crowds but insists that the 1 a.m. ferry will not return this summer.
The lasting implications of the decision to discontinue the late-night ferry are yet to be seen. It would seem that locals appreciate the change although, summer visitors are less than pleased. Visitors are already having to change their vacation plans in light of the schedule change. We will have to wait until the summer season kicks in to really gauge the benefits or consequences of the decision to discontinue the late-night ferry.