New Ferries to Connect Long Wharf to Seaport, Charlestown and East Boston

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Director of Waterfront Planning for Boston Harbor Now Alice Brown presented summer programs and new water transportation routes to the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) at their May meeting.

Watch Brown’s presentation above and follow along with this timeline.

(1:06) The Harbor Islands will open on Saturday, May 18. On opening day the Islands are free! Pick-up tickets at the booth on Long Wharf outside the Marriott. Summer programs on the Islands will focus on the history of each Island. Spectacle is sports-focused with a 5K and yoga classes, Georges Island is focusing on the Civil War history, and Peddocks Island is featuring nature programs.

(2:10) Summer on the waterfront around the Harbor: Thursday, August 29 there will be fireworks!

(3:15) Resources around the Harborwalk: Boston Harbor Now has mapped out where all the public resources are along the Harborwalk. Learn more at BostonHarborwalk.org.

(4:11) Water Transportation: Two weeks ago Boston Harbor Now released plans for two new ferry routes. One would connect Quincy to Downtown Boston with stops at Columbia Point. The other would be an inner harbor connector. Boston Harbor Now looked at how the ferries would best serve Boston commuters, and how docks will connect with other modes of public transit. The final proposed route is shown below.

(7:09) The ferries would begin at 6:30 a.m. continuing until 10 p.m. The study looked at two fares – $3.50 which is what passengers pay to take the MBTA ferry today, and $6.50 which is the revenue maximizing fare. The hope is for the fare to be incorporated into the MBTA fare or at least the way you pay for MBTA fares, such as the commuter rail zones.

(8:05) Boston Harbor Now hopes to use hybrid electric vessels. View the entire inner harbor connector business plan here.

Questions from the audience begin at 8:36.

Questions addressed ferry frequency (15 minutes during rush hour, 20 minute off-peak), and the LoveJoy Wharf ferry, which is privately funded by employers in the Seaport to ferry their employees to / from North Station. There are at least 15 seats for the public for $5 on each boat used in this service.

There was also a discussion about the Encore casino in Everett. Encore will start operating water shuttle service in June. It will go from the casino to the Seaport, but they are still deciding where it might dock downtown. It will be $7 to / from the casino and $5 within downtown. These ferries accommodate about 38 passengers.

The Boston Harbor Now ferries would have a capacity of about 85 passengers. The boats would be bow-loading for ADA accessibility and would be mostly enclosed for year-round service with a back deck. The boats would be low enough to go under bridges, including the North Washington Street bridge.

There were also questions about dock selections, sea planes, and ferry noise.

See the full Inner Harbor Executive Summary posted below.


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