Posted at: 04/29/2013 9:42 PM
Updated at: 04/30/2013 4:57 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
The dream of college students could turn into one of the quickest ways to get between Duluth and Superior.
Andrew Bettilyon and a group of UW-Superior students presented a plan to business people and city leaders Monday night. They're proposing the creation of something called the "Water Taxi," and it is generating interest from Mayor Bruce Hagen.
It would ferry bikers, walkers and other pedestrians between Duluth and Superior's biking trails.
Following the presentation, Bettilyon told Eyewitness News he is "getting really excited responses. Lots of people want to get on it right now they want it to be here today."
Students said their preferred ferry route would connect Barkers Island and Park Point. The ferry ride would take around 15 minutes. They said the only other way there on a bike would take about five times as long, and would include a trip over the Bong Bridge.
Bettilyon described that trip as an unpleasant one. "The wind is constantly howling and on your other side you have traffic flying by at all times."
Meanwhile, Mayor Hagen gave us his take on the proposal, saying "there's a good opportunity here."
Hagen said "this is done all over the nation and all over the world with regard to this kind of vehicle and transportation."
Hagen and Bettilyon said the ferry is also an opportunity to draw tourists into Superior.
Bettilyon said "if Duluth can generate as much tourism as it does then Superior should be just as capable."
Before any proposal takes on any life, another study called an "operational study" would need to be done. But Hagen said it's definitely something he wants learn more about.
Eyewitness News asked people to weigh in on our Facebook page about the ferry proposal. A lot of people were skeptical about who would pay for the project. But no cost has been determined yet.
The proposal comes as Duluth prepares to see new work done on the Traverse Trail.
This summer, crews will be working four or more days a week building trails across the city. The project is expected to take about four more years.