Fort Tilden might be out of commission for the rest of the summer, but that doesn’t mean the Rockaways are totally off-limits this season. Jacob Riis and Rockaway Beach will be open for business, and the Rockabus is already shuttling people back and forth from Williamsburg, Grand Army Plaza and the Lower East Side. But it looks like the hipster highway shuttle’s gonna have more competition than the A train this summer, because there’s another Rockaway bus in town, and it’s cheaper.
Dubbed NYC Beach Bus, this baby runs from Park Slope (what they call the Downtown stop) and Williamsburg to Jacob Riis on Saturdays, Sundays and all holidays starting July 4 and ending Labor Day. And while a Rockabus round trip ticket will set you back $15, the NYC Beach Bus is only $12. Bring on the healthy competition, y’all (though both buses boast $10 one-way tickets).
UPDATE: We asked if surfboard are allowed, which they are, at no extra charge. The Beach Bus people say you should try to take the early morning or late afternoon bus; but if you want to go during peak time, email them and they’ll try to accomodate. “We have a lot of surfer friends and it would piss them all off of we charged extra,” Ayo Omojola of Beach Bus tells us. -Td.
NYC Beach Bus was started by a husband-and-wife team who started shuttling people down to the Rockaways using commuter vans two summers ago. This year they decided to expand the operation and are using a school bus, like the Rockabus. But wait! Not only do you get a ride out to the Rockaways, for an extra $7 you can take a yoga/pilates class on the beach if you go out with the 9:15am and 11am rides. They’re also finalizing deals with local businesses at the pickup locations and in the Rockaways to get you discounts on food, drinks and other goodies.
They’ve also got footballs, soccer balls, frisbees and Ball In A Cups for fun once you get on the beach, along with sun block and water. Buses leave from Brooklyn at 9:15am., 11am and 1pm from 4th and Pacific Aves in Downtown Brooklyn and Metropolitan Ave and Roebling Street in Williamsburg; you can purchase your ticket in advance online, or pick one up at your chosen pick-up spot.
And, because we love you, we’ll let you in on a secret they told us while we were talking: they’re running a discount on the first day, July 4. The first 10 people to book a trip on the bus ride for free, and everyone else pays only $7 for a one-way. Sounds like a great way to celebrate America to us.
UPDATE 2: We have the first confirmed deal you can get courtesy of your Beach Bus ticket. Beer hall Die Koelner Bierhalle will extend their happy hour to weekends from 4pm to 9pm . And even better, they’ll provide growlers if you’d like to fill one up. Also, you can take a sneak peek of the service next weekend on June 29 and 30, with one-way tickets at $6 and roundtrip at $8, if you give the promo code “brokelyn.” Go get it!