COVID impact leads Boston to suspend ferry service

1280px Mbta Ferry Glory, September 2018

(BOSTON) — Due to sharply reduced ridership during the pandemic, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is planning to suspend all of its ferry services beginning in spring 2021. The cancellation is part of a $130 million cost-savings plan across all modes of transportation.

MBTA runs two ferry services across Boston Harbor, connecting Charlestown Navy Yard, downtown Boston, Logan Airport, the island of Hull and Hingham. The service is privately operated by Boston Harbor Cruises under contract, and it uses two MBTA-owned ferries and additional vessels owned by BHC.

“Ferry ridership is approximately 12 percent of pre-COVID ridership, averaging seven passengers per boat, and passengers have either bus or commuter rail service as an alternative,” the MBTA said.

Even if ridership returns to 80 percent of its normal levels by next fall, the MBTA said losses could exceed $300 million unless it begins cutting costs now.

1280px Mbta Ferry Glory, September 2018
The MBTA ferry Glory in September 2018. Wikipedia photo
By Professional Mariner Staff