MADISON, IN (WAVE) - Starting Monday, traveling across state lines became easier for people living near the Milton-Madison Bridge.
"I just caught a boat ride across the river to see four precious little faces," said Kentucky resident James Pennington.
Pennington found himself not only pleased to have just visited with family across the river, but even happier that for the first time in a long time, traveling to his grandchildren did not take hours.
"I got to see four grand babies and that's what it's all about," began Pennington, "and I didn't have to spend three hours doing it."
Crowds of people turned out to take advantage of a new ferry service that set course around 7 a.m. Monday. The water taxi, of sorts, is being provided by Rockin' Thunder Captains Janet and Paul Harding.
"We have the only jet boat excursion on the Ohio River and we have two boats," said Capt. Paul Harding. "We give excursions from late May through October; scenic and wild rides and just a lot of splashes and fun."
Capt. Janet Harding said the couple decided to take to Ohio River early after seeing a need in their community and being called upon by citizens and the mayor to help connect members of the close-knit communities while continues on the Milton-Madison bridge.
"It's an extra hour and a half drive for them in the morning," began Capt. Janet Harding, "so this way they can get to work in six minutes across the river."
The Hardings said getting a ride is simple.
"All they have to do is call us and we'll be there," said Capt. Janet Harding.
Riders only need to fill out a waiver before they are permitted to board one of two boats providing nonstop service, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"This morning I went across with two others," recalled Pennington, "and now he's pretty much got a full boat every time he comes and goes."
The new service is helping reconnect two towns while streamlining travel for those who live and work across the Ohio River.
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