The good people at the Rockabus may have capitalized on a glaring need — weekend transportation between Williamsburg and the Rockaways and Fort Tilden that doesn’t take 2 hours in each direction — but they’re not the first people to do it. They’re not even the cheapest!
No no, there’s another beach bus game in town, in the form of Alexis Van Lines, which has been making the trip since last year according to its operators.
This, of course, complicates the Rockabus’ claim as “the first shuttle bus to operate between Williamsburg and the Rockaways and Fort Tilden.”
“The Rockabus took away a lot of publicity from us,” griped Leroy Morrison, an Alexis operator. “People were looking for us and couldn’t find us and people thought they came up with the idea.”
This is likely all the more frustrating since the services are essentially the same, with similar departure points and a relaxed BYOB policy. For its part, the Rockabus has the advantage of online bookings (Alexis is by phone only), while Alexis is slightly cheaper ($6 one way instead of $10) and has room for bike storage on board.
Plus, Morrison says, “People deserve a better service than a school bus. I love transportation. I know I can do better.”
Oh, snap! Those are fighting words if ever there were. So who will win in this battle for our beach business — the native Brooklynites or the entrepreneurial transplants?
Everyone. Everyone will win. Everyone loves to go to the beach, demand is high, everything about this is completely win-win. Beach party for everybody!