Richmond's Bridge St. bridge is still closed for construction, but thanks to nonprofit Local Motion, residents are now crossing the Winooski river by boat. Local Motion's Bike Ferry II made its maiden voyage across the Winooski River last Friday giving area residents access to the grocery store, the dentist's office, and even wedding ceremonies.
Construction on the bridge is scheduled to be completed by June 20, but if it's delayed, Local Motion's Director of ferry Operations and skipper Brian Costello said the ferry and its volunteers are prepared to continue operations until July 4.
Bike Ferry II — equipped with bike racks and a carrying capacity of six — logged 565 boardings on the first day and totaled 1,200 boardings in the first three days.
"That's a lot of trips back and forth," says Costello. "It was kind of an unknown adventure when we started. We didn't know how much demand there would be, but we found out real quick that Richmond was thrilled to have this."
The Richmond Area Business Association created a schedule of ferry operations that accounts for morning and evening commutes and local business, says Costello. On weekdays the ferry runs from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m, and on weekends it runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
On Monday, I rode the ferry back and forth a few times with my fellow Seven Days intern Will Ryan. We shot this short video of our fellow travelers.