The NYC Beach Bus is a little different than the other services that exist to the Rockaways and Riis like Alexis Van Lines, The Little Beach Bus or the Rockabus, in that they offer amenities and activities that make the ride more like a day camp on the beach. A bus ride (you can choose a 9:15am, 11am, or 1pm departure) on the Belt Parkway and along the coast of southern Queens offers a scenic ride, and once you get to the beach, NYC Beach Bus hosts classes like Zen Yogilates (a yoga-pilates combo) and provides the gear for football, soccer, frisbee and ball-in-a-cup on the beach, if you want to get off your blanket and get active.
Like the Rockabus, your NYC Beach Bus wristband will get you discounts and specials at partners near the two pick-up and drop-off locations: Downtown Brooklyn/Barclays Center (4th and Pacific avenues) and Williamsburg (Union and Meeker avenues, under the BQE). In Downtown Brooklyn, these include Canteen (10% off a $10 at breakfast and lunch), Dunkin’ Donuts (a free donut with any medium or large drink); in Williamsburg check out the Beer Boutique (10% off all purchases), Metro Deli (25% off all purchases), and Muchmore’s (extended happy hour, two-for-one pour-over-coffee, and free admittance to weekend shows).
Ayo Omojola and Scott Leibowitz, wife and husband, started NYC Beach Bus this summer after three years of organizing beach runs with 15 close friends to the Rockaways. They would all pile into a mini shuttle bus-van and have so much fun that Omojola and Leibowitz wanted to extend the luxury of easy transportation to the beach to the masses, especially so that visitors can support the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy.
“I have spent the most amazing summers at the Rockaways and Riis,” Omojola says. “Brooklyn beaches have ease of transportation already; Rockaways and Riis doesn’t, and Scott and I thought we could fill that void. Our goal is to expand this service to more locations and do more private events. We are already booking private events and we hope to continue that. We also hope to to do a winter session ferrying people to Mountain Creek New Jersey for a cheaper rate than the ski-shops in NYC that charge about $90 minimum.”
Part of the profits from NYC Beach Bus go to Graybeards, an organization that donates every penny received to people in need in the Rockaways, and to the NYC Parks Department, to help repair and protect our beaches.