More than 32,000 passengers used the Firth of Forth hovercraft during a two-week trial, new figures show.
Stagecoach will now decide if the service should be permanent
The trial, run by transport giant Stagecoach, came to an end on Saturday.
The firm has hailed the £300,000 Forthfast service a success and will now analyse the results to see if there is a case for a permanent crossing.
Stagecoach said most of the 20 minute trips on the 28-metre, 130-passenger hovercraft were full, with an average load of 85%.
It said retailers on both sides of the Forth reported increased footfall and sales.
Robert Andrew, regional director for Stagecoach Scotland, said: "The two-week trial has been a major operational success."
The company was encouraged by the morning commuter journeys, which rose steadily over the two weeks, with a number operating at full capacity.
"During the trial, we have collected a wealth of passenger data and customer feedback," Mr Andrew added.
He said: "We look forward to working in partnership with Sestran, the Scottish Executive, as well as the Fife and City of Edinburgh councils, to establish whether there is a business case to create a permanent cross-Forth transport link."
Stagecoach said a two-craft operation would cost £2m a year.
During the trial, the hovercraft service included dedicated bus shuttle links from Portobello to Leith and Edinburgh city centre.
There were a total of 22 scheduled services a day - 11 in each direction - with additional trips at busy periods.