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ECHDC launches new Queen City Bike Ferry

by jmaloni


Mon, May 18th 2015 12:15 pm
Queen City Bike Ferry
Queen City Bike Ferry

Ferry will carry passengers from Canalside to Outer Harbor

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. cut the ribbon Monday on the Queen City Bike Ferry to Buffalo's Outer Harbor. The brand-new multihull ferry will carry pedestrians and their bikes across the Buffalo River from Canalside to the First Buffalo Marina, where they can disembark and enjoy touring Outer Harbor sites and beyond.

"This fantastic new ferry solves the problem of how to easily and quickly get people from Canalside to the Outer Harbor," ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said. "The Queen City Bike Ferry expands the water experience by taking people on the river and allowing them to then continue by bike or on foot to a variety of Outer Harbor scenic spots. The ferry is another way for Western New York to follow Gov. Cuomo's advice and capitalize on our greatest natural asset: the magnificent waterfront."

"The new Queen City Bike Ferry is a welcome addition to our growing waterfront, and provides an important link between the inner and outer harbors," Assemblyman Sean Ryan said. "My thanks to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and Gov. Cuomo for helping to make this vision a reality. I would also like to thank John Montague and Rich Hillman for helping to bring the Queen City Bike Ferry to Buffalo's waterfront.

"The ferry is 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 provides the connectivity our waterfront needs in order to continue to grow."

The Queen City Bike Ferry, which was built in Florida this past winter, is a custom design vessel that is 50 feet long and 14 feet wide with two outboard engines. The top speed of the vessel is around 14 knots. The ferry can carry up to 49 passengers, although, with bikes, that number will be reduced accordingly.

Passengers will board the ferry from the dock by the commercial slip at Canalside. The ferry will then carry passengers and bikes across the Buffalo River to the Buffalo Marina on the Outer Harbor. The actual trip will take about seven minutes with additional time as needed for passengers to get off and on the ferry.

Once passengers disembark at the marina, they will have easy access to Times Beach, Wilkeson Pointe, Buffalo Harbor State Park and other scenic locations on the Outer Harbor. 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.

"Take your bike and combine it with our ferry and you have a great way to explore Buffalo's waterfront," said Capt. Rich Hilliman of the Queen City Bike Ferry. "The quick ride is a perfect activity for young and old. We look forward to welcoming visitors on board."

The project includes the rehabilitation and limited reconstruction of an existing boat dock and installation of supporting amenities to provide ferry access to the Outer Harbor with funding through the New York Power Authority re-licensing agreement.

"After donating the land that became Wilkeson Pointe Park and providing the parcel for the ferry dock, we are proud to play a role in the continued revitalization of the Buffalo waterfront," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "The bike ferry is another reason Canalside and the Outer Harbor will be must-visit destinations."

Queen City Bike Ferry Schedule (Beginning May 22):

·       Monday-Friday, noon to 8 p.m.

·       Weekends, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Don't worry if you don't have a bike, the BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York "Blue Bikes" will be available for rent right at Canalside.

For more information on the Queen City Bike Ferry and other activities at Canalside, visitwww.canalsidebuffalo.com.

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