Beginning this Friday, bikers and pedestrians will have a new and inexpensive way to get from Canalside to Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. The Queen City Bike Ferry made its ceremonial debut Monday morning.
Local officials celebrated the new boat’s first run from Canalside to the First Buffalo Marina. It will open to the general public on Friday and run from noon to 8 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. The price per passenger is one dollar.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan, a Buffalo Democrat, was among those praising the connectivity the ferry offers.
"The ferry is going to work both ways. It's not just to get from downtown to the Outer Harbor. If there's an event at Canalside and you live in Hamburg or Lackawanna or any of the southtowns, you don't have to go over the Skyway and wrestle with parking downtown. You can park on the Outer Harbor and take the ferry for a dollar," Ryan said.
"We're going to connect the historic Buffalo Lighthouse, Times Beach, Wilkenson Pointe, and miles of hiking and bike trails."
The vessel measures 50 feet long and will carry up to 49 people, depending on how many bicycles are aboard a given trip. A ride takes less than 10 minutes. Cash is collected upon boarding.
Among those celebrating the debut of the ferry was Thomas Dee, president of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.
"Now we have the people's waterfront. The citizens of Western New York have come by the millions to relax, exercise, eat, and enjoy the concerts and activities. It was these people that told us they wanted a way to get to the Outer Harbor -- a new place to bike, to run, to walk and to explore," Dee said.
The ferry will be in operation through Labor Day.