Special to the Times
The MBTA announced a new ferry service project that will operate between East Boston at Lewis Mall and the downtown Boston area at Long Wharf began on Monday, September 12. The MBTA last offered ferry service from Lewis Mall in the spring of 2022 as an alternative to shuttle buses when Blue Line service was suspended for tunnel maintenance. Approximately 1,750 daily riders chose the ferry during the diversion, prompting the state legislature to fund the ferry service pilot between East Boston and downtown Boston.
“We’re pleased to be able to demonstrate this ferry service between East Boston and downtown Boston this fall and next spring,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We know riders valued the ferry service last spring when Blue Line service was suspended for maintenance. Demonstration projects such as these take coordination and funding, and I’d like to thank our local elected leaders for pursuing and securing the funds necessary to allow the T to operate this seasonal service.”
“This ferry service will be a critical link in further activating the inner harbor and connecting the North End and East Boston. I am proud that we were able to receive state funding to make this investment possible and I look forward to building off its success in the near future,” said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Chair of the House Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “I want to thank my colleagues in the Legislature, Representative Madaro, and Senator Edwards, for the work they did to help secure these critical funds.”
“The return of the East Boston ferry through the fall season and next spring is a win for residents across our community,” said Representative Adrian Madaro. “At a time when increased congestion and transportation challenges have meant more difficult commutes, the ferry will offer people an additional transit option with frequent service at peak hours and at a cost on par with the subway. I was proud to partner with Rep. Michlewitz and Sen. Edwards to secure funding to bring back the ferry, and I’m excited for residents to be able to use this enjoyable, accessible mode of public transit to cross the harbor.”
“Finally! It makes so much sense to use our coastline to our advantage,” said Senator Lydia Edwards. “We need to build and invest as much as possible in affordable waterfront transportation. This is just the beginning!”
The East Boston ferry demonstration project is funded through the state and will operate seven days a week during fall 2022 and spring 2023. Each trip will be approximately 10 minutes. The East Boston ferry service project will operate from September 12 during the fall season to November 30, 2022. Service will pause for the winter and resume for the spring season on March 1, 2023. The full East Boston ferry project schedule will be available on mbta.com soon.
On weekday mornings, 11 trips will depart Lewis Mall every 30 minutes beginning at 7 AM and 10 return trips will depart from Long Wharf every 30 minutes starting at 7:15 AM. On weekday afternoons and evenings, ferries will depart Lewis Mall every 30 minutes beginning at 2:30 PM with the last trip at 7:30 PM. Trips from Long Wharf to Lewis Mall will leave every 30 minutes beginning at 2:15 PM with the last trip at 7:45 PM.
On weekend mornings, eight trips will depart Lewis Mall every 30 minutes beginning at 9 AM, and seven return trips will depart from Long Wharf every 30 minutes beginning at 9:15 AM. On weekend afternoons and evenings, ferries will depart Lewis Mall every 30 minutes beginning at 3:30 PM with the last trip departing at 8:30 PM. Twelve return trips will depart Long Wharf every 30 minutes beginning at 3:15 PM with the last ferry departing at 8:45 PM.
A one-way fare for the East Boston ferry is $2.40 or $1.10 for reduced fare riders, the same fare as the subway. Fares can be purchased at the Long Wharf ticket booth and on the mTicket app. The MBTA also accepts printed LinkPasses, Commuter Rail Zone passes, and M7 passes. More information on ferry fares is available at mbta.com/fares.