PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Traveling by ferry will soon be an option for Portlanders. The nonprofit "Friends of Frog Ferry" announced the start of its pilot program on Tuesday.
The 24-month pilot project will launch in summer/fall of next year and run through summer 2024. It will feature one 70-passenger vessel operating 14 hours a day, Monday through Friday during heavy commuter hours between Cathedral Park and RiverPlace in downtown Portland.
The ferry will also operate on Saturdays, stopping at additional stops like Vancouver, Duckworth Dock at the Moda Center and OMSI. Proposed ticket costs are $3 each way and $2 for honored citizens.
The founder and president of Friends of Frog Ferry spoke about the green movement behind the project.
"Crisscross the river midday going over to the Duckworth Dock at the Moda Center or OMSI, take your family out to OMSI. Get out on the river. Enjoy the incredible ecosystem that the Willamette River provides," Susan Bladholm said. "For passengers, we really want to be conservative. We don't want to make promises we can't keep. So it's ambitious when we say we want to move a 1,000 passengers a day, and that's something that were working with our leadership team on to really come up with numbers that were gonna be able to achieve and not just talk about. With that ambitious reach, that would be about 600 cars a day that would be displaced."
In the coming years, the group hopes to plan and fund its full operation, which includes gradually adding more vessels, reaching seven by 2026. The group is working to secure state and federal funding, as well as private funding. They says the cost for the two-year pilot is $9.4 million.
To help cover it, the City of Portland is sponsoring an application for $3.3 million of federal funding, and ODOT awarded the project a $500,000 grant, which is funded through Oregon's transit tax.
For more information about the project, www.frogferry.com.