Charlestown Says: ‘Don’t Sink the Ferry’

February 23, 2012
By

Philip Tankard of Stonington, Connecticut, left and William Holden of Mystic, Connecticut, right, were in Charlestown’s Navy Yard Constitution Museum for the 33rd Annual U.S.S. Constitution Model Shipwright: Guild Shipmodel Show.

Elianna Nuzum lives in the Navy Yard, and commutes to work like most Charlestown residents. But with the Masachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) planning to cut the ferry, one of the town’s convenient modes of transportation, Nuzum will have to find a new route to work—but not without a fight.

Nuzum, one of the founders of the local group Save the Charlestown Ferry, approached the Charlestown Neighborhood Council at a meeting this month in hopes of raising awareness and gaining a stronger voice for her campaign against the cut.

There are two plans being discussed by the transit authority, but both include bad news for Charlestown commuters. One plan would increase the fare by 43 percent, with the bus fare increasing from $1.25 to $1.75, and the subway inflating by .70 cents. The other plan would increase the overall fare by 35 percent, with the bus fare reaching $1.50, and the subway fare to $2.25. Bus lines 90, 92, 95, and 105 would also be eliminated with this plan.The commonality that both plans share is the ferry. All ferry services would be eliminated under both plans, causing concern for Nuzum and her fellow ferry riders.

“We’re very worried about our commutes, property values, and the impact on the greater Charlestown area,” she voiced. “We’ve done a few interviews with publications, sent around a petition, and we’ve reached out to the neighborhood. We’re asking the Council to get involved and get the MBTA to rethink the proposal and make one coherent voice that would increase the impact.”

Although ridership decreases during the winter months, local residents still need to get to work hassle-free. And by terminating the ferry, not only will residents be burdened, but tourists who normally swarm the ferry in the summer will also have to resort to other more complex forms of transit. The petition is gaining speed with 500 signatures, and a lively Facebook page at www.facebook.com/savethecharlestownferry.

The council was equally opposed to the cut, approving a motion authorizing the council to send a letter to the MBTA, noting the council’s opposition and desire to host a meeting with MBTA officials in Charlestown.