It may seem to be a bit early for people to start talking about ferry boat rides to Boston, what with large snow piles still dominating the local landscape and temperatures that are still occasionally below freezing.
But the calendar says it is spring and with spring the loyal contingent of Lynn to Boston ferry riders that emerged last year has been looking for signs that their beloved ferry service will be back.
Those signs arrived this week when EDIC Executive Director James Cowdell declared, “We are very excited to get the ferry up and running again.”
According to EDIC, the second year of a two-year pilot service, provided through contract by Boston Harbor Cruises, will begin on May 18, with the morning departure at 6:30 a.m.
Lynn State Senator Thomas McGee, who has been an ardent supporter of a ferry service for Lynn for several years, said in an announcement about the returning service, “This alternative option for traveling to and from Boston attracted many passionate commuters from all over the North Shore last year. I am confident that as congestion continues to grow on the roads, more people will turn to this accessible and affordable mode of transportation.”
Ridership in the first year of the pilot program far exceeded supporters’ expectations, as more than 10,000 rider trips were counted last year between May and late September. In fact, the season was initially supposed to end on September 12 last year and was extended by two weeks to Sep. 26.
The ferry docks at the Blossom Street extension ramp (behind the Lynnway Dunkin Donuts) and offers riders three departures to Boston and three return trips weekdays.
The schedule is as follows:
Regular adult fare is $7 one way, with $3.50 reduced fares for seniors and children 3-12 and Zone 2 MBTA passes are honored. Payment is on the vessel via cash or credit cards and parking is free.
According to Cowdell, the city hopes to continue growing the ridership in season two, as it makes plans for an eventual permanent, year round ferry service beyond the coming season.