When you’ve got a good thing going, you either leave it alone, or make it better. In the case of the The Queen City Bike Ferry, and it’s initial successes, there is now a call to expand upon services. Seeing that ridership was at 50,000 in 2015, and will certainly be growing, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and New York State Assemblymember Sean Ryan are calling for a boost in the system, which would most likely mean another ferry being added to the Inner to Outer Harbor route.
“As the popularity of Canalside and Outer Harbor destinations including the historic lighthouse, Wilkeson Pointe, Times Beach, Tifft Nature Preserve, and Buffalo Harbor State Park continue to grow, ferry service must grow with it,” said Congressman Higgins.
An expanded $825,000 docking area is currently underway at the Outer Harbor in order to make the round trips more efficient and more comfortable (see here).
“Assemblyman Sean Ryan said “The Queen City Bike Ferry has been a resounding success, and this summer we should work to build on that success by expanding capacity. The ferry will continue to grow in popularity, and steps should be taken to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy the ferry this summer and beyond.”
Currently, the ferry can only accommodate 49 passengers and 25 bicycles, which means that there are fairly long waits to get back to the Inner Harbor from the Outer Harbor (and vice versa). The new dock at the Outer Harbor will help to alleviate the wait times, but there is still concern that one ferry is not enough to accommodate the demand.
Higgins and Ryan pointed to Toronto, which runs eight ferries a day in order to handle the traffic. While Toronto is a larger city, the growing demand for these types of waterfront amenities in Buffalo does clearly demonstrate the need for an additional ferry boat.