Anyone who wants to cross the Connecticut River on the nation’s oldest continuously operating ferry service can do it this Saturday for free.
The along with the Department of Transportation will be hosting an on Saturday, which is part of a .
The state is offering Connecticut residents discounted or free admission, free gifts, special exhibits and activities at more than 175 destinations across the state.
In Rocky Hill, the open house, which will run from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature the following:
"It's going to be a beautiful sunny day with free rides," said Peter Maxwell who is on the . The event usually produces the "biggest ridership of the year," he added.
"Hospitality tents" will be set up for non-profit organizations such as the , , and the . Maxwell has contacted several car clubs and is hoping to have some antique rides travel on the ferry Saturday.
The , which is a state historic landmark, has been continually operating for 357 years and the DOT is currently looking at expanding its operation after it was almost shut down last year.
Gov. Dannel Malloy and laying off workers to help address the deficit in his budget last year, if the union workers did not agree to his concessions plan. In August, .
In August, the grassroots organization called was established to improve the operations of both Connecticut ferries.
The DOT is currently in the process of (one captain and one deck hand), according to DOT officials. With the additional staff, the "best case" for the staff to be able to work a full schedule (Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays) would be later this month, DOT officials have previously said.
The ferry, which dates back to 1655, is open Monday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fees for riding the ferry normally are:
- $3 for motor vehicle
- $2 for commuter rate (requires pre-purchased commuter coupons)
- $1 for pedestrians and bicyclist