By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Town Manager James McKenna has an e
ar to ear smile over the collaboration between the Winthrop Ferry and the city of Quincy. In just three days the ferry revenues have grown from $500 a day to triple that amount.
“Folks are excited about this,” said McKenna at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting. Adding the link to Quincy began on Aug. 1 when people in Quincy were able to take the ferry from Squantum Point Park, next to Marina Bay to either Rowes Wharf, Spectacle Island or Winthrop. The 90-day trial could be extended. Quincy residents haven’t had ferry service since 2013, when the MBTA closed the terminal at the former Fore River Shipyard.
It is hoped that someday this could be a permanent ferry service at Squantum Point Park which is owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
Winthrop, which debuted its 73-seat ferry service in March, has about 30 to 35 passengers who regularly use the town’s ferry service.
Quincy spent $100,000 in city money and a $50,000 state grant to make fixes to the Squantum Point Park pier so it could host the trial program.
McKenna said a couple of logistics issues were worked out with the schedule.
“It’s a test for all of us. So far, so good,” McKenna said.
He explained that $1,490 came in in the first three days with Quincy and the average daily expenses are $920. He said they found the new ferry boat also only uses half the fuel that was expected. The ferry, built in Maryland at Evans Boats for $980,000, arrived in November 2015. Top speed for the boat is about 24 knots.
The Winthrop Ferry summer schedule now includes trips to Spectacle Island! As an added bonus, ferry riders can save $50 when they purchase 20 round trip regular priced tickets for $290.00 from the Winthrop Ferry website. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.town.winthrop.ma.us/discover-winthrop/pages/townwinthrop-ferry