River ferry service needed

Boatabus service is needed to form a water connection between Marietta and Parkersburg. To maximize patronage of this service, the vessel should travel from the Ohio River Museum in Marietta to the waterfront at Point Park in Parkersburg with stops at the Marietta downtown landing and near the mall in Vienna.

If a relatively speedy, hybrid-powered, catamaran-type vessel, such as what is currently found with similar services in Paris on the Seine River and London on the Thames River, it should be possible to offer hourly service at a reasonable cost. There are several companies that build these ferry boats with hybrid, diesel/electric power. They can be made to carry 50-plus passengers in a climate-controlled cabin and easily travel up from Parkersburg in one hour. Room for bicycles could be included on these vessels.

If this can be done, the Marietta-Parkersburg area could offer a unique service with national appeal. The vessels could also serve as survey platforms that gather daily scientific data on the condition of the Ohio River and major tributaries, such as the Muskingum and Little Kanawha rivers.

It should be possible to form links with the Easy Rider bus service of Parkersburg to have shuttles from the river to the mall and the main bus terminal in Parkersburg.

A boatabus service can be done. It is worth a study. The rewards could be huge for our area.

Stanley Cole