Work is underway on a faster route from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze, with the fishing captain hoping to start a ferry service by this weekend.
Captain Glenn Flowers, owner of Flowers Fishing Fleet, says his ferry service will transport people from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze in 11 minutes.
“You hear people say all the time, ‘Look at a need, fill in a need,'” Flowers said.
This is why the Flowers are converting their charter fleet into a ferry service.
“We have received a lot of messages from parents who have to take their kids to school in Pensacola from Gulf Breeze and then return to work,” Flowers said. “The commuting journey is now very long. This will be beneficial to a lot of people in the community.”
Flowers says he has three boats ready to offer round-trip flights, but there is one stop.
“At Gulf Breeze, there is no place to land – no boat landing, no people landing,” said Flowers.
Flowers told Channel 3 that many Gulf Breeze business owners have exposed their shipyards, but that they need repair after suffering damage in the storm.
“It’s going to be a community effort,” said Flowers. “This will help the entire community, especially the business. They have already suffered enough damage. This is just a nail in the coffin for everyone.”
Flowers plan to offer tickets all day for $ 20.
He says trips will begin, and those interested can visit his website for meeting times.
Officials in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Gulf Breeze and Pensacola are also working with the Florida Department of Transportation to set up a ferry service.
Robert Bender, Commissioner of Escambia County, says they are in initial discussions with FDOT, but are hopeful that the ferry will get operational as soon as possible.
“I know this is Gulf Breeze’s first priority to solve this problem,” Bandar said. “We all know how important it is to move back and forth efficiently.”
Bender says they’re also looking at landing sites and setting possible pricing.
Flowers says he’d like his ferry service to be free for passengers if FDOT or Skanska paid the bill.