After receiving nearly 3,700 responses from commuters to an online survey, Boston Harbor Now has released a short list of recommended new and expanded ferry routes as part of a nine-month water transportation study.

The list will be further whittled down to between one and three routes after the organization puts together a business plan including financial models, said Alice Brown, the nonprofit organization’s director of water transportation. The goal is to begin providing expanded service in 2019.

“We’ll pull through lots of transportation data and our survey to figure out which combination of these routes makes the most sense,” Brown said.

At public meetings during the summer, many attendees requested more inner harbor service, according to Boston Harbor Now. The inner harbor circulator could include such stops as Logan Airport and Lewis Mall in East Boston, Lovejoy Wharf, the downtown waterfront, Charlestown Navy Yard, World Trade Center East and Fan Pier in the Seaport District.

Outside of Boston, the report recommended expanding commuter ferry service from Hingham, Hull, Lynn, Quincy, Salem and Winthrop and starting a new service from Dorchester’s Columbia Point.

The study began with an analysis of 30 potential ferry sites and analyzed ridership, demographics and existing dock conditions. Those that showed the most promise for new or expanded routes within the next five years will receive further analysis, Brown said, with business plans released next spring.

A trial commuter ferry service from Lovejoy Wharf to the Fan Pier also could begin next spring. That service is being coordinated by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which has been soliciting subsidies from private employers in the rapidly developing Seaport District. The rest of the new routes would be funded through some combination of passenger fares, corporate subsidies and state Chapter 91 contributions from developers, Brown said.

The region’s existing ferry routes include year-round service to Boston from Hingham’s Hewitt’s Cove and Hull’s Pemberton Point, a year-round ferry from Long Wharf to the Charlestown Navy Yard, seasonal service from Salem and Lynn to Long Wharf, seasonal service from Winthrop to Boston and Quincy’s Marina Bay, and a seasonal high-speed ferry between Boston and Provincetown.

Funding for the study was provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Massport, the Seaport Economic Council of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Affairs, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, the Barr Foundation, the Cabot Family Charitable Trust, Envoy Hotel and Clippership Wharf.

Alice Brown, director of water transportation for Boston Harbor Now, discusses the organization’s nine-month study of new and upgraded ferry routes:


Survey Finds Demand For Inner Harbor Ferry Routes

by Steve Adams time to read: 2 min