With complimentary coffee and donuts for all, the Winthrop Ferry “Valkyrie” launched from the town landing at 6:30 a.m. on Monday for the first time in two months due to engine problems and a lack of enough captains.
The first ferry had about 30 happy commuters riding to Quincy and then getting dropped off in Boston.
By the end of the day more than 160 riders had been on the ferry, with a total 70 departing from Winthrop, 40 from New England Aquarium quarium, 31 from Quincy, 17 from the Sea-port and 70 from Winthrop.
Valkyrie was christened in 2016 and had a shaky start, but last year the town-run service ran in the black. In June 2019, it was discovered there weren’t enough captains to carry groups over six. Then one of the engines burned out, costing $55,000 to re-place and a wait of a couple of weeks until the en-gine was shipped from oversees.
Over the last several years, Winthrop invested more than $750,000 in taxpayer money to get the town-owned ferry operational.
The ferry not only serves commuters from Winthrop, but also Quincy, the Aquarium, the Seaport and now it can connect to the Encore Boston boats.
Town Manager Austin Faison has stated that he would like to see the town get out of operating the ferry service, but he was pleased with the number of passengers on Monday.
“We really marketed the reopening,” Faison said. “We want the service but we don’t want to be the ones providing the service.”
He added that Quincy is considering the idea of get-ting its own vessel.
If the ferry service ceases to exist in Winthrop, the boat will have to be turned over to the state.
The ferry, costing close to $1 million, was paid for by federal and state grants.