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Ohio River Ferry Isn't Popular With Commuters

The ferry that shuttles residents between Southern Indiana and Louisville isn’t popular among commuters.Just over 50 commuters take the Spirit of Jefferson in the morning and a little over 100 in the afternoon, said Spirit of Jefferson CEO Linda Harris. It can hold 300 passengers but the most it has transferred was 209, she said.Many afternoon travelers are taking advantage of the $1 ride. Harris said she sees mothers and grandchildren who are out to enjoy a boat ride on the Ohio River.But it costs around $850 a day to operate and the math doesn’t add up, she said. Commuter patterns haven’t reacted efficiently enough to justify use of the ferry, she said.“I think now they’re deciding if they get to the bridge and its back up they’ll get off. But it really wasn’t intended to get on the interstate at all—just avoid the interstate, take the back roads and take the shuttle,” said Harris.Harris said she’ll talk with Mayor Greg Fischer next week to discuss whether to keep the ferry operating. She says it will run at least until the end of next week.

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