Officials happy with steady increase in ferry ridership


July 2, 2014
By Chris Stevens/The Daily Item

About 134 people took the Lynn Commuter Ferry on its first day back in May, but those numbers have more than quadrupled over the last two months, surprising even its developers.

“We expected it to be successful, but the numbers are higher than even we expected,” said Economic Development and Industrial Corporation Executive Director James Cowdell. “The ferry is doing well.”

Cowdell said the numbers hit over 500 soon after the launch on May 19 and jumped to 600 the following week then 700.

“Each week we get better and better,” he said.

ferry passengers disembarking ferry

Lynn ferry passengers/Angela Owens - Item Photo

The number of Lynn ferry riders has more than quadrupled since the boat’s maiden voyage in May. Economic Development and Industrial Corporation Executive Director James Cowdell said the passengers are mainly commuters.

The riders seem to be primarily commuters, Cowdell said, and most appear to be from communities other than Lynn. As summer settles in, Cowdell said he is hoping more people will take advantage of the ferry for day trip adventures as well.

Boston Harbor Cruises, which runs the ferry, is offering connections to other ferry destinations, such as Cape Cod, the Boston Harbor Islands, or a Whale Watch.

A $7 ticket will get passengers from Lynn to Boston in 35 minutes, and once at Long Wharf, daytrippers can explore the city or jump on board another ferry or even the Codzilla Thrill Ride.

Locals looking for a “staycation” can hit Spectacle Island and Georges Island or Provincetown.

“So you could go into Boston at 8 a.m., a 30-minute trip, get on another ferry and be in Provincetown by 10 a.m., spend the day and be back in Boston by 7:15 and back in Lynn by 8 p.m.,” Cowdell said. “This is the time of year when people are looking for things like this to do.”

The Lynn Public Library also is also offering buy-one-get-one-free passes for the ferry.

“I believe we’re the only public library that does that,” Cowdell added.

The next step for the ferry project is to build a two-story terminal/restaurant building. Cowdell said he met with Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki Monday to discuss funding for the project. While he would like to see that happen sooner rather than later, Cowdell said he’s pleased with the ferry operation as it stands.

“We’re doing well and the numbers are rising,” he said. “The best advertising we’ve had is word of mouth. People are telling their friends, and they’re coming.”

Chris Stevens can be reached at


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