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Popular bike ferry to get improved landing spot next year

Jonny Moran

Buffalo's waterfront saw its busiest summer in decades, and officials are already plotting strategies for accommodating an expected increase in traffic for next year.

Developers are working to accommodate increased traffic at Canalside after officials estimated a million people visitors this summer.

One of the area's most unexpected successes was the Queen City Bike Ferry. The vessel, which shuttles

pedestrians and bicyclists between the inner and outer harbors, saw 48,000 customers this summer. Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation President Robert Gioia said construction is underway to accommodate the boom in traffic.

“Next summer you’ll be able to see a more suitable landing for the actual ferry boat itself, but also an area so that the bikers can queue and get on and off quickly,” said Gioia.

Gioia says the ferry was much more popular than anyone had anticipated.

“We started this thinking we’d get hundreds, a couple thousand. We are a victim of our own success. We will continue to improve upon it, we’ll continue to make it a pleasant experience and hopefully prevent lines as best we can,” Gioia said.

He added  that a large number of visitors is a good problem for Canalside to have.

Rides on the ferry cost passengers a dollar each way. Officials credit the ferry with increasing foot traffic to outer harbor locations like Wilkeson Pointe and Buffalo Main Lighthouse.