It’s not ready for riders, but it is time to weigh in on the much-anticipated Sarasota/Anna Maria Island/Bradenton ferry plans.
The ferry will launch in early 2018, providing riders — commuters and sightseers — a new route from the Manatee River in Bradenton to downtown Sarasota, including a stop in Bradenton Beach.
The company is reaching out via social media to learn how the ferry can best serve commuters, locals and tourists.
The ferry will travel from the 10th Street Pier in downtown Sarasota to the Historic Bridge Street Pier on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach and on to Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton.
The inaugural boat of the ferry fleet will carry 149 passengers.
Capt. Sherman Baldwin, director of marine operations, said of the ferry service: “In the coming months, we will be working with local conservation organizations and the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure we launch the safest and most environmentally friendly use of our waterways for transportation.”
“Future riders will be comfortable onboard and able to depend on our schedule,” Baldwin said in an Oct. 19 news release.
One survey participant will win a ticket aboard the ferry service’s maiden voyage — a planned extravaganza.
The website at sarasotabraentonferry.com includes a survey.
Chris Johnson, director of marketing for the ferry company, said updates will continue to appear on the Sarasota-Bradenton Ferry Facebook page to keep the community informed and involved.