On Friday, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. announced the kickoff of the 2016 season for the Queen City Bike Ferry, which now has a brand-new landing site on Buffalo's Outer Harbor. The $825,000 landing on property owned by the New York State Power Authority (2 Fuhrmann Blvd.) is designed to improve the pedestrian-bicycle trail system along the waterfront, providing a direct link to the water's edge, rest area for riders and enhanced experience.
"The Queen City Bike Ferry is a success, because it was well planned for from the very beginning," ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said. "The design of the new landing was underway before anyone even knew there would be more than 50,000 riders jumping aboard. Thanks to the ECHDC team taking the lead, the new landing will make the adventure of exploring the waterfront even more enjoyable."
Designed by DiDonato Associates and built by Pinto Construction Services Inc., the new landing replaced a group of existing boat docks and installed amenities to permit the expanded Queen City Bike Ferry service. Also, a paved pedestrian pathway was created, which extends from the water's edge through a landscaped waiting area, and terminates at Fuhrmann Boulevard. Additional site amenities and aesthetic features include signage, benches, planters and accessory structures.
"The bike ferry provides easy transportation from Canalside to the Outer Harbor and NYPA is proud to be a part of this revitalization," NYPA Chairman John R. Koelmel said. "Now, the entire ferry ride experience has been enhanced with the completion of a landing that offers another beautiful spot to relax and appreciate the transformation of Buffalo's waterfront."
NYPA funded the project as a result of relicensing agreements tied to the Niagara Power Project.
The Queen City Bike Ferry begins its 2016 season with hopes of breaking last year's record of more than 50,000 riders. Passengers will again board the 50-foot vessel from the commercial slip dock at Canalside. The ferry will then carry passengers and bikes across the Buffalo River to the new landing. The actual trip takes about seven minutes.
The cost to travel on the ferry is $1 per person each way. Dogs can travel for free, but must be on a leash. The Hilliman family operates the Queen City Bike Ferry.
"The ferry experience just got a whole lot nicer with the addition of the beautiful landing on the other side of the river," said Capt. Rich Hilliman of the Queen City Bike Ferry. "The landing makes it easy for people to get on and off the ferry and provides a relaxing place to enjoy the waterfront while waiting to catch a ride to Canalside."
Queen City Bike Ferry Schedule:
Once passengers disembark at the landing, they will have easy access to Wilkeson Pointe, Bell Slip, Buffalo Harbor State Park, Times Beach, Buffalo Lighthouse and a variety of new activities being offered this year by the Outer Harbor Management Group. (See calendar of events HERE). Bike rentals are available on both sides of the Buffalo River at Canalside and Wilkeson Pointe.
"The new Outer Harbor landing is now the gateway to all of the new activities at the Outer Harbor," said Jonathan Dandes, president of Rich Baseball Operations. "Whether you want to kayak, play volleyball, ride around the beautiful trails or relax and enjoy a beverage at 'The Pointe' concession area at Wilkeson Pointe, the Bike Ferry provides a unique and entertaining way to take in all the Outer Harbor has to offer!"
For more information on the Queen City Bike Ferry, visit http://www.queencityferry.com.