PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Controversial plans to convert Portland’s Willamette River into a transit corridor for a ferry have been put on hold.
In a release on Tuesday, Friends of Frog Ferry said after five years they have “come to a crossroads.” The nonprofit was unable to find a public agency to partner with before the deadline passed for a FTA grant that would fund the demonstration pilot project.
Friends of Frog Ferry noted river cities across the U.S. have welcomed ferry systems, but Portland city leaders failed to back the project.
“We essentially have a solution ready to address the climate and livability needs for our region we hear about every day – we are able to a put a boat on the water within 18 months. We will not be able to do so until our city leaders also make it a priority,” Friends of Frog Ferry said in a release.
Despite little support from city officials, the nonprofit says it successfully designed a vessel, outlined the financial feasibility, along with sourcing docks and ferry experts to consult on operations.
Susan Bladholm, a veteran of the transportation and tourism industries, led the proposal for Frog Ferry, which aimed to bring a 70-passenger vessel to take commuters from Cathedral Park to Riverplace in downtown Portland.
The project was intended to begin as an express and would eventually add stops along the way.
Three ferries still operate in Oregon, including the Canby Ferry and the Buena Vista and Wheatland ferries all in Marion County.
KOIN 6 has reached out to Friends of Frog Ferry and will update this article later in the day.