Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina says he sometimes gets frustrated with the otherwise beautiful view from Piers Park in East Boston: He can see the Seaport in South Boston, but knows the only way to get there by public transportation is via three subway lines and a bus.
LaMattina, who represents East Boston, Charlestown and the North End, has teamed up with Councilor Bill Linehan, whose district includes South Boston and downtown, on a proposal to create ferry lines to stitch together the city's neighborhoods along the water.
"It would be great that people from Charlestown would be able to come to East Boston, use our beautiful Greenway, take their kids on a bike, and go to a beach," LaMattina told fellow councilors yesterday. "There's some folks in East Boston that don't like a beach, but they could go to the North End and use the outdoor pool."
Linehan said there's a more immediate reason to develop "a really comprehensive [ferry] network and strategy:" Next year's Sail Boston, which he said will bring millions of people to Boston with no easy way to get between the ships docked in Charlestown, downtown wharves and East Boston.
The council approved their request for a hearing at which the city transportation department, MassDOT and Massport could begin to figure out how to create a Boston Harbor ferry network so that Boston is not left in the wake of cities such as New York and Baltimore.
"There's money in the BRA for two ferries and it's just sitting there," LaMattina said. Linehan said Massport currently spends $1 million a year on a ferry between Long Wharf and Logan that he said almost nobody uses and that maybe the money could be better spent on ferries people would actually take.
"With all this waterfront development taking place in the city, there has to be some money available to subsidize this ferry," LaMattina said.