To maintain and improve current levels of services, Gateway is proposing to raise parking fees throughout the park in 2017. The new revenue from these fee increases will be used to provide enhanced visitor services including repair and maintenance of facilities, enhance amenities and additional visitor programs and services. Click here for more about the reasons behind this proposed increase.
What are the proposed fee increases?
$15 per vehicle at Riis Park, Queens, New York and $20 per vehicle at Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
Season Passes will increase to $75 per vehicle at Riis Park and $100 at Sandy Hook. These passes are per vehicle, as before.
Proposed oversize vehicle fee will be $30 at Riis Park and $50 at Sandy Hook.
Proposed season pass for oversize vehicles will be $150 at Riis Park and $200 at Sandy Hook.
Are you considering any other types of increases?
Gateway is also considering introducing the "Recreation.gov" reservation program for the rental of sports fields throughout our Units. Our camping program currently uses this system to reserve a site and your length of stay. These sport fields are located in Miller Field in the Staten Island Unit as well as the Floyd Bennett Field, Frank Charles Park, and Jacob Riis Park in the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway.
Gateway is also studying the option of allowing seasonal parking passes to be purchased through our "Pay.gov" system. This will allow for visitors to purchases a seasonal parking pass in advance and decrease transaction time and traffic at our entry booths.
When was the last fee increase?
In 2012, daily fees went up to $15 at Sandy Hook and to $10 at Jacob Riis Park.
How many times have fees increased?
Fees have increased three times since 1983, when parking fees were first established at Gateway. The last fee increase at both Sandy Hook and Jacob Riis park was in 2012.
Why raise fees now, especially with the bad economy?
This is not a decision we take lightly. Gateway belongs to all people and must remain affordable to families and individuals. At the same time, our visitors expect and deserve clean and safe beaches, as well as clean camp sites. It is necessary to raise fees if services are to continue at current levels. Even with the increases, recreation at Gateway compares favorably with nearby areas offering similar services.
Are there any changes to parking pass benefits?
What has fee money been used for in the past?
Literally hundreds of projects were funded in full or in part with fee money. Here are some of the projects:
Expanding the docking facility at Sandy Hook.
Rehabilitation of campgrounds at Floyd Bennett Field.
Shoreline monitoring at Sandy Hook.
Rehabilitation of the Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd Bennett Field.
Paving the Multi-Use Path at Sandy Hook.
Fixing visitor railing at Jacob Riis Park.
Kayaking and sailing public programs.
Rehabilitation of Frank Charles Park in Queens.
Adding a webcam at the Sandy Hook
Lighthouse restoration at Sandy Hook (underway)
What would the increased revenue be used for?
The new revenue from the proposed increases will be used to provide enhanced visitor services including repair and maintenance of facilities, capital improvements, enhanced amenities, resource protection and additional visitor programs and services.
Didn't you just get a lot of money because of Hurricane Sandy? What's happening with that?
Gateway received $165 million in Hurricane Sandy recovery funds. This money can only be used for Hurricane Sandy repairs. Revenue from proposed entrance fee increases would be specifically targeted towards projects that will enhance visitor services and amenities.
What is the difference in prices and benefits with other surrounding beaches and campgrounds?
Current prices are below comparable pricing for nearby beaches.
One example: Coney Island charges $15 per vehicle for parking.
In New Jersey, beaches charge per person, not per vehicle. The more people who visit in the same vehicle, the cheaper the cost.
There are only two other campgrounds that are less than 55 minutes from NYC. Liberty Harbor Marina & RV Park is $50 per night for tent camping, $80 for RV camping. There are no fire pits or open fires allowed. Cheesequake State Park has tent and RV sites for $25 per night, $20 for NJ residents, but it is not accessible by public transportation.
Can I still use my Senior Pass/ Access Pass/ America the Beautiful Pass?
Visitors with passes used for entrance fees for federal lands such as the Senior Pass, etc., will receive a 50% discount on parking fees, as they do now. There are no discounts for camping. (At parks with entrance fees, these federal passes give the holder free entrance. Remember that Gateway does not have entrance fees, only parking fees.)
What can I still do for free?
Plenty! At Sandy Hook, you can visit Fort Hancock, the Lighthouse, Guardian Park, Horseshoe Cove and fishing areas. Our interpretive programs, such as kayaking and sailing, are usually free. Entering the park is still free for those who walk or bike into the park. It should be noted that parking is free at Sandy Hook and Riis Beach except for the period of the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day.
I have some opinions about this! Who will listen to me?
Gateway wants to hear from you. You have the right under Federal law to make comment about a proposed fee increase. Please e-mail your comments us at Gateway_Fee_increase@nps.gov before September 5, 2016. Gateway welcomes public comments and will consider all of them before making a final decision.