Ferry to connect inner and outer harbors

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – State Assemblyman Sean Ryan was at Canalside on Tuesday to reveal plans for a new bike and pedestrian ferry to connect the inner and outer harbors.

Ryan said, “We get tens of thousands of people down to Canalside and they look straight across and they always say, ‘How do I get there?’ And the answer is you have to get back in your car, drive all the way around and get back down. So we found a way to weave these two communities together.”

The bicycle and pedestrian ferry will offer service between the Canalside boardwalk and land located near the Coast Guard station, which is owned by NYPA.

It will carry about 50 passengers and run a few times an hour.

However, it’s not just about convenience. There’s a hope that the service will encourage people to explore the outer harbor, which includes the Buffalo Lighthouse, Wilkenson Pointe and the Times Beach Nature Preserve.

Jay Burney of the Friends of the Times Beach Nature Preserve said, “The outer harbor is such an unknown part of Buffalo in so many ways.”

He explained, “It’s like being in the wilderness. You can sit down there, you can look at fox and deer, and you can also look at City Hall. It’s one of the most important ecological areas in all of the Great Lakes.”

The ferry project will cost about $750,000 to start; Assemblyman Ryan said he’s working to secure that funding from the state.

It won’t be free for passengers, and though they’re still working out the details, they say a ride on the ferry will cost around $2 a person.

Last week 4 Warn Meteorologist Todd Santos put together a Splash of Summer series, to feature what’s happening down at Canalside. Take a look at his stories by following this link.

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