ferry service

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Forty years after the first vision and about five years of preparation and delays, Pensacola’s ferry system is ready to shove off on Friday. The launch ceremony was held at Fort Pickens on Wednesday.

Dan Brown, Superintendent of Gulf Islands National Seashore, served as master of ceremonies.

“Today is proof that all the stars can align and dreams can come true,” said Brown. GINS is one of the three stops the two, 145-passenger ferries – Turtle Runner and Pelican Perch – will make on their triangular 45-minute voyages for pedestrians and bicycles.

City of Pensacola

If you’ve made plans to ride the new ferry service between downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens, you have a bit of a wait ahead of you – until next year.  

Scheduled to begin this May, the project is now delayed in favor of beginning a new search for an operator. That emerged from a meeting last week among the National Park Service, Escambia County and the City of Pensacola.

Plans to begin ferry service between downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens are still set for next spring, but have been pushed back a few weeks. 

Next March was the original target date to launch the two boats and the triangular routes, but Dan Brown, Superintendent of Gulf Islands National Seashore, says some of the components of the service are meeting some challenges and delays.

IHMC

On Jan. 14, 1989, I was awakened at my Pensacola Beach home by a call from my city editor at the Pensacola News Journal. The Bay Bridge had been rammed by a tug boat, an event forever to be known as the day the ship hit the span.

Fortunately for the News Journal, I was on the other side of the bridge from the PNJ, and he wanted me to take a look from there.

So I drove into Gulf Breeze and found that, yep, the bridge was definitely closed.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

 

Residents and visitors could enjoy taking a ferry to downtown Pensacola, Fort Pickens and Quietwater Beach as early as next March, if everything stays on schedule.

Dan Brown is Superintendent of Gulf Islands National Seashore. He said, "we've got a lot of moving parts on this and we're communicating with our partners on a regular basis, staying on track so far, and we're excited"

 

Ferry service on Pensacola Bay is moving full speed ahead towards a launch date of March, 2017.

The latest step forward is the National Park Service’s award of a contract to All-American Marine. The Washington state-based firm will design and build two aluminum double-decker Catamaran-style ferry boats, each with a capacity of 150-passengers.