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Ferry service between East Boston and Seaport to start next week

The Convention Center Authority will start ferry service between Lewis Mall Wharf and Fan Pier on Monday.

Similar to the North Station route, this service will operate on a 20 minute frequency during peak commuting hours Monday- Friday beginning on September 27, 2021

The service is being run as a pilot. A one-way ride, which costs $5, can be paid for via the Seaport Ferry app.

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Comments

Why is ferry service to and from Long Island not a possibility to get the recovery center up and running again?

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Voting closed 33

East Boston has safety infrastructure such as fire houses, ambulance, and alternative routes to the rest of the city. Long Island has none of these things that would be required to keep the program guests safe.

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Not all mind you, but many are. This is a personal statement owing to my observation of Mass and Cass over the past few years and experience with a few friends in my teenage years.

Now put yourself, along with 60 or 70 of your heroin zombie friends on a ferry during a winter windfest out on the harbor at about 6 at night when it's dark out.

I volunteer you to try it (not the heroin) but hire a boat, tuck 60 or 70 on it, and then cast off into a winter storm, or for that matter, a day like today.

I guarantee you will be ordering the steel for the bridge personally the next day.

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could the state staff the ferry with medical professionals and stock it with whatever they need to keep people comfortable for the duration of the ride?

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The world of "Let's Just Put Them On The Ferry" forgets the logistics of things.

You need a dock. Good luck getting that at Rowes Wharf or Long Wharf. The hotels would pour hot oil on the junkies milling about. The Aquarium and Harbor Towers would not be overly pleased. It would be King Richard's Faire, with death. There is enough shooting up on the Greenway now as it is.

Parking - If you are going to put medical professionals on the boat along with the safety people, nurses, doctors, rodeo clowns, etc. you are going to give them a place to park. Park 24/7 since medical care is a 24 / 7 operation. A lot of these people, especially if you put the dock say at City Point or in the Seaport, have to get there. Not everyone wants to take the T and you are going to need, I don't know, a 1 to 5 control ratio. Also, you have to move everyone from Mass and Cass to the docks.

Emergencies - A lot of people who are on smack have a lot of other health problems. Ever miss a ferry? There is a lot of milling about waiting for the next one and you and I can hit the bar. The person in cardiac arrest has other ideas about their longevity.

Helicopter for Emergencies? If a lot of you have not noticed, there are these planes flying into that big airport just to the north of Long Island. The planes are at 600 to 700 feet going by Thompson Island. The Hancock is 790 feet. Do you want your mother's plane to have to play chicken with a medflight?

The Bridge worked for decades. Anyone who opposes the bridge has property interests in Squantum, you work for Big Boat, or you just don't understand the the logistics.

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Voting closed 14

I don't "oppose" the bridge. Get it built and it solves a world of problems. When is that likely to happen? Probably not during the first term of our next mayor.

If much the same clientele was formally bused to the island, surely whatever security/medical coverage they had on the bus can be put on the ferry. Yes there are parking and docking issues to resolve. I do not claim to have every logistic worked out. The point is, it would be far better than the status quo which has become intolerable. If money is no object, getting these folks off the street and into a safe(er) place where many of their needs can be effectively handled is totally a no-brainer.

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My father, after he retired from the T, worked for Bay Cove driving people getting rehab or otherwise on Long Island to doctor's appointments. The state has to maintenance if it get built. This was 15 years ago and you could only drive one car over the bridge at a time and go about 3 miles an hour. So 100 years from now, we are not going through it again.

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There are ferry ambulances, medical infrastructure could be build on the island as needed, patients could be screened. Staff would be hired knowing the time commitments.

All this for a fraction of the $150 million for a bridge and years sooner.

One issue the ferry cannot fix.

It doesn't create any real estate development opportunities which is the real issue with John and many bridge supporters.

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Voting closed 9

Any other pipe dream you can think about?

"Staff Could Be Hired" is like saying "Nantucket Allows Bauhaus Style House To Be Built". Sure, it could happen, but probably not.

I have been to Long Island a number of times. Anyone thinking that there are going to be condos like Spinnaker Island in Hull out there subscribes to the Quincy sponsored Boogieman Theory of the Long Island Bridge.

The geography of the island, which includes burial grounds, steep cliffs, the existing hospital buildings, the camp, and the bunkers of Fort Strong, along with a lighthouse does not really allow for massive buildings sites.

Think again.

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Voting closed 9

It explains why Boston refuses to agree to limit development on Long Island.

It explains why Boston has promoted Long Island as an Enterprise Zone.

It explains why Long Island is zoned "General Business"

It explains Mahty's and John Fish's interest in building Olympic facilities on Long Island.

Try again John, next time try something with credibility.

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Voting closed 9

No, really you are.

Also, there have been proposals to put houses on Long Island since the 1800's. I have a subdivision plan of the island from the 1870's.

There was a proposal to make floating islands for the 76 Bicentennial between Carson Beach, Thompson Island and Long Island.

Stop seeing the boogie man, or are you a ghosting account for the Mayor of Quincy?

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Curious.

If what you say is true, why doesn't the City of Boston agree to limit development on Long Island?

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Not the City of Boston. Ask them.

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If the CoB agreed to limit development they could start building the bridge,

about 7 years ago.

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John Costello's comment above starts to scratch the surface on many of the issues. More specific comments below.

But more importantly, this invented "real estate" red herring which has been at the heart of objections from our neighbors to the south since the day the city announced it wanted to build a Recovery Campus on Long Island is just getting more than a little tired.

Every public assurance by the city--including an agreement to support even a statutory prohibition against real estate development or any other kind of legal assurance about Long Island development has been dismissed. This is now almost Trumpian in its effort at misdirection.

A couple of helpful tidbits:

1. Acting Mayor Janey asked her staff to look into the feasibility of a ferry service to LI and among their conclusions was that ferry service (including new docking facilities, etc) would be more expensive than building the damn bridge. And that's just the economics.

2. The ferry service would not only carry some of the most at-risk patients, but also all provider staff, supplies, vendors, police fire, etc--essentially all the components of a small city with 450 beds. As those who worked on the island before the bridge closed will tell you, even when it was functioning just as a shelter facility, 1-2 ambulances were stationed on the island every night and it was a rare night when one or both were not in active service. Now overlay the steady rise in the use of synthetics and subsequent overdoses; imagine what we see at Mass and Cass today and think how risky ferry service will be to this population. By the way, we are told by Recovery Services that the Comfort Station was closed because everyone now carries a knife at Mass and Cass for their own protection and the risk of violence grew uncontrollably.

3. We are told by the City that our track record in court against Quincy's kitchen sink legal approach may allow for us to ask the state for an at-risk permit to begin reconstruction of the bridge as soon as 2022 (that's next year, folks). Naturally, Quincy will continue to appeal but if the state ultimately grants an at-risk permit because both Boston and the state determine that the likely outcome of all the legal wrangling will affirm Boston's right to reconstruct the bridge, we can begin assembling the component spans of bridge off shore and begin the staging necessary to float the spans into place (which has always been the engineering plan).

4. If we wanted to use some kind of temporary ferry service for a stable population--i.e. those in active recovery and/or those without SUD issues--and have Long Island serve as temporary supportive housing, that's a feasible proposition as long as we could make the staffing and vendor service logistics work and we were willing to allocate the kind of resources a ferry service would demand. That could help but it would not be sustainable in the long term nor would this limited approach really address the most intractable issues we see at Mass and Cass.

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If the g-d City of Quincy didn’t prevent any work being done on the original bridge so that it wouldn’t have become a safety hazard. Would have cost a lot less than any option.

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A dock already exists on Long Island. It would need to be upgraded but that would cost much less than $150+ Million.

The same could be said about the Fallon State Pier at UMASS Boston or the pier for the Marina Bay Ferry.

There are ferry ambulances that would benefit many users of Boston Harbor.

I don't see staff parking as much of a problem at either UMASS or Marina Bay.

Again this would not allow for substantial real estate development on Long Island but it would help the South End neighborhood and the people afflicted with mental health and addiction issues, but those really aren't issues that concern you, are they?

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You appear to know a lot about Marina Bay.

Did one of your relatives live there until about 2017?

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Seems to be a pattern.

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Have fun at your wedding.

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Might have something to do with the Feds not funding any services that aren't fully accessible to Police/Fire/EMS and which would have to shut down in storms. IDK?

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As things continue to deteriorate at Mass & Cass, no one is thinking big. The story in the Globe today said that money is not the problem. If that's true then get a dock built NOW and start ferrying people back and forth ASAP. We can't wait until a new bridge is built.

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Voting closed 9

So are the homeless and addicted going to get better treatment on the island, get well, be safer? Or would you just like them to be out of your sight?

Send em all off to a shuttered island with no bridge back to shore doesn't sound like thinking big. It sounds like a trap for everyone involved. Try going down there and convincing people to voluntarily leave where they are and get on a boat. When something goes wrong who takes responsibility. You're cookoo.

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maybe i don’t fully understand the dynamics of the situation, but most of the comments about mass and cass really do seem to center the commenter rather than the affected.

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So are the homeless and addicted going to get better treatment on the island, get well, be safer?

The answers are, yes, yes and definitely yes.

Send em all off to a shuttered island with no bridge back to shore doesn't sound like thinking big.

It is a potential solution. Doing nothing, which is what will happen until the ferry or the bridge materializes, is not thinking at all.

Try going down there and convincing people to voluntarily leave where they are and get on a boat.

"Would you like a warm place where you can sleep in a bed, take a shower, eat hot food and be safe?" That sounds like a hell of an incentive to me. I'd worry more about people fighting to get ON the bus to the ferry than the bus being empty.

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“ "Would you like a warm place where you can sleep in a bed, take a shower, eat hot food and be safe?" That sounds like a hell of an incentive to me.”

Anyone who has worked with the unhoused know that many refuse to go into shelters for various reasons (they are not as safe as you might assume, being one) and prefer the street.

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You are right that some people will decline even a very positive offer. Some people will say no to a free sandwich or an extra blanket. That is no reason not to create a safe place for those who want it.

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What the hell does ferry service from east boston (LOGAN AIR PORT) to the Seaport (CONVENTION CENTER) have anything to do with Long Island Bridge/treatment facility.
Oh that's right absolutely nothign.

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My original post was asking about ferry service to Long Island, not the bridge, so the common thread was ferries. I’ve got nothing against a Logan/Convention Center ferry. I think the Long Island ferry is a more pressing issue though and has been weighing on my mind as I’ve passed the tent community on Mass snd Cass twice in the past few months and it’s pretty sad and shocking to see this in our city.

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when they have a bridge to sell you.

In 5-7 years.

Maybe.

What's the rush?

/s

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Of interesting answers and points made. This is a quagmire, for sure. Hoping people get the help they need one way or another.

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Not sure this qualifies as the long promised ferry service. Might be more accurate to call this the Seaport Special. It only leaves from East Boston from 6AM to 10AM, no Saturday or Sunday service. It is a very focused service for Seaport employees. The long promised East Boston Ferry would provide frequent service every day and evening to various locations on both sides of the harbor. Connecting East Boston with Boston didn't seem to merit any interest from the primary candidates.

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Voting closed 33

And I changed the headline, because my recollection (as wrong as it might be) was that the real interest was in ferry service between East Boston and downtown, not the Seaport.

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That seems random. That route is served by the SL3 so why not go to Charlestown and the Aquarium? Make it a route instead of just a back and forth.

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No guts and no imagination, at the top. Baker has to go.

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Why is the Convention Center Authority in the ferry business? Don't we have state authorities that already as supposedly familiar with transportation in general and with the harbor in particular?

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Voting closed 17

The CCA is in the business of promoting and enriching the CCA. Now they're running a ferry? Great, need more money and more employees.

Places like the CCA are the deep rot in the city that prevents actual improvements to be easily done because everything is balkanized. See also: state police patrolling the Southwest Corridor and Seaport or DCR being in charge of the Arborway.

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Voting closed 11

Is a crappy option to go from Jeffries Point/Maverick to Fan Pier/Fort Point. You have to walk or take the Blue Line to Airport, then deal with the circuitous Silver Line route through traffic which takes 15-20 minutes to get to Courthouse Station.

The extra $2.60 for the ferry is probably worth it for the time/walking saved for some folks -- if the schedule works for them.

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Voting closed 11

Ba ck 20-25 years ago, there was a ferry service route that included Chelsea, Eastie, Charlestown to Long Wharf. It has been sorely missed people would use it, and if it wasn't run by the city or the state, it would be profitable and convenient!

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The link for the Ferry service that Adam included indicates that there is also North Station service ... so it's not only Fan Pier?

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If there is success and a need is shown, likely they'll increase the availability.

You know, kind of how the bus lane pilot programs went - and now we have bus lanes because it was shown to be useful?

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Had to drive down to FH this week during bus lane hours and while it's mostly free of parked cars, there was one on my round trip which didn't have a ticket. Is BPD not aggressively ticketing cars that block bus lanes? If not, why not? Not a lot of crime at 7-9am that needs boots on the ground.

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I'm not certain - is BPD doing the ticketing or BTD?

And I wonder if that car showed up just before you went by, not giving either agency enough time to show up and ticket?

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The issue in the morning is people stopping off quickly at the store at Corinth Street or at the daycare further up the road, so it is tough getting all scofflaws at those spots. Those who just park and go, on the other hand, are ticketed in the morning.

Now, if you go by between 4 and 6, you'll see a lot more cars parked on the outbound side and no ticketing going on. If the City and the T wants the outbound bus lanes to work, they'll have to get aggressive. In my monitoring of the traffic over the years, PM commute brings more congestion to Washington Street than the AM commute does. But as I said when the PM bus lane was suggested, it's better said than done.

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for the one day a week I'm going into the office. But 50 bucks a week roundtrip will be a hard pass if I ever end up back to a full commuting schedule. I'd also be willing to bet Clippership, Slip 45, and Portside residents alone will fill the prime slots.

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Maybe they will do a monthly pass type thing. It does seem to be a bit steep for a porter at the convention center

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Bikes are permitted on the ferry, no extra cost.

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