Additional connectivity between the Inner and Outer Harbor is coming in the form of a bike-ped ferry. New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan made the announcement that a joint venture between the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) will take people from Canalside to an area near the Coast Guard Station (land owned by NYPA), which is a fairly short jaunt for passengers. From there, cyclists will be able to embark and explore the bike trails that lead throughout the Outer Harbor. The plan is to create an easy and fun way for people to get to destinations such as Times Beach Nature Preserve, Wilkeson Pointe Park, and the new Buffalo Harbor State Park.
The project is already underway thanks to funding from NYPA that is slated to cover the cost of the engineering. Construction is scheduled to begin next spring, with ferry service starting next june.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, “The new Canalside Bicycle and Pedestrian Ferry will be a welcome addition to our growing waterfront, and will provide an important link between the inner and outer harbors. The ferry will be a low-cost and high-impact way to improve the waterfront, and allow people to easily access the many new attractions at Canalside and throughout the outer harbor. Allowing bicyclists and pedestrians to quickly and efficiently travel along the outer harbor will provide the connectivity our waterfront needs in order to continue to grow.”
Sam Hoyt, Empire State Development Regional President said, “The concept of a water taxi came up multiple times at the recent public meetings which were held to gather ideas for planning the future development of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. From Canalside to the Outer Harbor, Assemblyman Ryan’s plan for transporting people and their bikes by water provides another way to get around and enjoy the shoreline’s areas of interest. Governor Cuomo is focused on moving full steam ahead on projects like this one because it encourages visitors and residents to spend more time exploring the treasured waterfront from a different perspective.”
Jay Burney, Chair, Friends of Times Beach Nature Preserve said, “This is an important investment that will link our astonishingly beautiful and exciting outer harbor lands and waters with Canal Side. This Bicycle and Pedestrian Ferry shows foresight and leadership as Assemblyman Ryan continues to help residents and visitors find and new ways to travel and to enjoy the harbor. The Friends of Times Beach Nature Preserve invites bike riders and walkers to take advantage of this inexpensive and direct new way to get to our outer harbor!”
Justin Booth, Executive Director of GObike Buffalo said, “I would like to applaud Assembly member Ryan in his support of making Buffalo more bicycle friendly. Giving people multi-modal mobility options, from walking, biking, taking public transit and now a ferry – reduces the need for expensive auto only infrastructure while improving our safety, health, the environment and creating a vibrant local economy.”