Expanded Ferry Service on Way

Mayor Thomas Menino has announced the city has received a $1.28M grant from the Federal government to fund ferry service between East Boston and Charlestown and South Boston.

The grant, the mayor said, is intended to aid East Boston in becoming more accessible to neighborhoods on the other side of the Mystic River in order to make up for a lack of rapid transit service between those places.

The million Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant will allow for the purchase of two ferry boats. The federal agency will also assist in implementing new service, said the mayor.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority will manage the grant funds and purchase of two passenger ferries. The terms of the FHWA grant requires that the City match the $1.28 million by 20 percent, or $320,000 for a total anticipated purchase price of $1.6 million.

The new East Boston ferry service connections are part of the mayor’s ambitious plan to build up the East Boston waterfront and to help that along by bringing more water transportation to the area.

No exact details were made public by the mayor’s office regarding the exact routes or the cost for a ride or frequency of service.

However, launch time was predicted for 2013.

Bids for a ferry contractor to run the service will be put out in the fall.

“Cars are not the only way to go anymore in this city,” Menino told the Patriot-Bridge. I’m proud to announce this ferry service as a better way to move people around the city. Inner harbor ferry service is important to the city’s future. It can only help to decrease congestion and improve air quality,” Menino added.

Easy transportation between East Boston and South Boston might help East Boston to dove-tail off the extraordinary waterfront development now ongoing in the Seaport District.

The Charlestown connection with the ferry is expected to do the same.

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