Ferry Service May Expand

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

With one year under its belt,  the Winthrop Ferry service may be expanding with a stop in East Boston.

Town Manager James McKenna said preliminary discussions are underway with Boston officials and members of the legislature.

“I’ve been talking with Sen. Boncore and Mayor Walsh’s office and there is strong support to explore expanded service,” McKenna said, adding that he has also been discussing the idea with the harbormaster.

One factor under consideration is where the ferry landing would be in East Boston. There are several possible locations but McKenna said they have to be checked out to determine the best place for the ferry to land.

MassPort already runs a ferry service behind the Hyatt Hotel to Atlantic Wharf.

Last season the Town’s ferry, Valkyrie, stopped in Quincy, Spectacle Island and Rowe’s Wharf in Boston.

Quincy was just acquired by the ferry service in August. Winthrop, which debuted its 73-seat ferry service in March 2016, has had 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 upgrades to the Squantum Point Park pier so it could host the trial program. Quantum Point Park pier is owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The Valkyrie, built in Maryland at Evans Boats for $980,000, arrived in November 2015. Top speed for the boat is about 24 knots.

A tourism video was created showing a couple with bicycles leaving Rowe’s Wharf. When they arrive in Winthrop after 20 minutes they get on their bikes and ride around the bike path at Deer Island. Also shown is the living by the water, the Deane Winthrop House, award winning restaurants.

Town Manager James McKenna said the ferry video was made by Pamela Aronoff and Evelyn Ordonario.

McKenna said the ferry is moving in the right direction.

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