A major step was taken Wednesday in a project that would bring a ferry service to the Buffalo waterfront. The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation approved the public comment period for the plan that would allow a ferry to travel from the First Buffalo River Marina to Canalside, between the inner and outer harbors.
The taxi would be in operation for six months out of the year. It would be built to transport 50 people and bikes across the Buffalo River for a cost of $2. ECHDC President Thomas Dee says the service will push the momentum on the Buffalo waterfront forward.
“I think of this water taxi as another connecting link, which brings the city to the outer harbor. That’s a lot of what we’ve learned from a lot of people that have been talked about the big thing missing at the waterfront with connectivity. This is just another point to help us with that connectivity,” said Dee.
Heather Koepka has lived in western New York her entire life. She says the ferry would be another great feature on the waterfront.
“It’s a great idea to give people the opportunity to move around more throughout the area. They’ve done a lot more in this area recently and it seems to draw a bigger crowd and I think it would be a great idea. The more you allow people to move around and do things, I think the better,” said Koepka.
Buffalo resident Bonifas Ngotho says he’s excited about the idea.
“It would be a very great opportunity, especially for people to know what’s going on, on the other side,” said Ngotho.
The public will also be able to comment on the proposal for the New York State Power Authority to fund the cost of engineering for the project. If there are no objections to the plans, the ferry is expected to be up and running by Fall 2015.