City Trying to Start Ferry Service to Boston in 2014

The City of Lynn is aggressively working to begin ferry service to Boston in the coming year, according to James Cowdell, the executive director of the Lynn Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (Lynn EDIC).

“I’m hoping that we can get a service going by this (coming) summer,” Cowdell said. “The first two phases of the pier and parking lot are done, we’re working to get the money to build a terminal, but we’d like to see the service start this summer.”

Cowdell who spoke to the Journal in late November about development in downtown and along the Lynn waterfront, said that there is funding in place, which may help the city offer a subsidy to a ferry operator who can furnish a vessel.

“We’ve been doing everything we can, in terms of getting assistance from the state and federal government, in order to make ferry service from Lynn a reality,” said Cowdell. “We’ve got a pier and we’ve got parking, it’s time to show that ferry service here can work.”

Cowdell is not sure what the long-term strategy for providing ferry service may be, noting the city could choose to purchase a boat and operate the service with the assistance of a ferry operator or they can hire a ferry operator that has its own boat. In the short term, the city is looking to advertise for a vendor provided service and is currently working on a bid to procure that service.

It has taken the city nearly five years to get the project to the point where they are ready to advertise for a ferry operator. In 2008, the city completed the first phase of the project when it rebuilt the boat ramp at the end of the Blossom Street extension, upgraded drainage and laid new pavement for an expanded parking lot.

That was followed in 2012 by a project to install a new bulkhead and docking facilities. The 2012 project expanded access to the water from 60-feet to 150-feet and also helped to stabilize the shoreline.

Phase III of the project included the construction of a new pier and a 60-foot wave attenuator.  Sidewalks, parking lot striping and new lighting were also included in the latest project phase.

Initiating ferry service in 2014 would help to continue the positive momentum that has been created on the waterfront and at the same time quell the naysayers who felt ferry service from Lynn would never happen.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do, including building a ferry terminal,” said Cowdell. “But we’re going to keep pushing forward.”

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