The ferry service is critical to the residents of Bolivar Peninsula when a hurricane threatens.The ferries are the primary means of evacuation through Galveston to the causeway and the mainland.The Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry takes travelers on SH 87 between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula. A third vessel will be placed in service during the afternoon period if necessary. After this departure, the two vessels will operate based on traffic volumes, and will space themselves to carry traffic as efficiently and safely as possible.The first ferry operated by the State of Texas left Port Bolivar on July 1, 1934.Texas operated the ferry service toll-free for approximately six months, but the service was so popular that Galveston County officials asked the state to impose a 25 cent charge to reduce traffic congestion.The ferry port facilities, staging areas and visitor facilities were reconstructed in 1977 and upgraded again in 1994.Current Operations The peak months for ferry use are June, July and August.
In 1929 the first regularly scheduled ferry service between Port Bolivar and Galveston Island was established by a privately owned company.The 25 cent toll continued, except for a brief experimental period in 1934, until 1949.Since then, the ferry operation has been operated as a toll-free service.Later, two barges plied between Port Bolivar and Galveston.These early operations were commercial ventures and only made the trip when they had paying customers.
Up to five vessels may be operated for summer and holiday traffic.