Winthrop ferry service, a ten-year dream in the making, became a reality this week.
U.S. Congressman Edward J. Markey joined Speaker of the Mass. House Robert DeLeo, State Sen. Anthony Petruccelli, Council President Jeffrey Turco and state and local officials at the inauguration of the Winthrop ferry service Tuesday morning at the Town Pier.
Turco, master of ceremonies for the program, thanked Markey for his leadership in bringing the Winthrop-to-Boston commuter ferry service project to the town.
“I want to thank first and foremost, our great congressman, Edward Markey, without whose undying devotion, dedication, shared vision for this project, and his efforts to reinvent Winthrop, we would not be standing here today,” said Turco.
“This has been a decade-long effort – thank you, Congressman,” added Turco, who also lauded congressional staff members Mark Gallagher, Rocco DiRico, and Patrick Lally of Winthrop.
Turco also thanked many others from state and local government for their “sustained vision and dedication” in keeping the dream of ferry service in Winthrop alive. He also noted the support of Boston Harbor Cruises, the town’s partner in the ferry service.
Markey called the launching of ferry service “an historic day” for the town.
Standing on the pier on a beautiful, sunny day, Markey said, “You can look out here and you’re from Winthrop and you have to decide each day: what do I want, gridlock and stress or sunsets and Sam Adams [beer] on the way home, if I’m working in downtown Boston. I think the answer is going to be that people are going to get on this ferry.”
Markey said the single, most beautiful stress-free commute in Massachusetts will be from Rowes Wharf to Winthrop.
Markey credited Speaker DeLeo and Sen. Petruccelli for their efforts in obtaining state funding for the ferry service project.
Markey drew applause from the gathering when he announced that he has inserted $750,000 in the federal budget to create a walkway in the Town Landing area, with the hope of creating economic development for the town.
DeLeo called the ferry service project “a great example of what it means when our federal government, our state government and our local government takes a dream and makes it a reality.”
“This [ferry] can serve as one of those engines to put Winthrop on the map as a desirable place to visit – to eat here and walk here and Winthrop will become one of those jewels that we all know is here,” said Deleo. “This was many years in the making and I was glad to play just a small part in today’s festivities.”
Sen. Petruccelli also addressed the gathering, saying, “This is a great day for this town and it’s a day to celebrate and congratulate the hard work and the vision of the people of this town – the community activists, the local elected officials for their success in very appropriately putting water transportation in Winthrop to get to the city [of Boston].”
Brian Murphy, Deputy Secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Louis Elisa, executive secretary of the Seaport Advisory Council, and Alison Nolan, general manager of the Boston Harbor Cruises, also delivered brief remarks hailing the new daily ferry service that will run Mondays through Fridays through October 29.
At the Council Meeting Tuesday night, Town Manager James McKenna thanked the councilors for participating in the ferry inauguration ceremony.
“The launching of our ferry service celebrates a very important moment in Winthrop’s history,” said McKenna. “We’ve had a very positive response from users of the ferry.”