South Boston Waterfront Offers Unique Transportation

Commuter ferries waiting to depart during peak hours in the evening.
Written by Badamkhand Batbold

Badamkhand Batbold
BU News Service

A mode of transportation unique only to the Waterfront is the commuter boat services provided by multiple companies.

A very popular choice with people who work in the Financial District or Waterfront area for their commute is the Boston Harbor Cruise’s joint contractual service with the MBTA to Hingham. The commuter ferry operates from Rowes Wharf Terminal to Hingham Shipyard.

Commuters are mostly the same people every day who either buy tickets or have monthly passes issued by their company at a discounted rate. A popular choice for tickets is the “Ten Rides” option which provides five days of round tickets at a price of $85.

Mark Nolan, a captain with Boston Harbor Cruises in partnership with the MBTA.

Mark Nolan, a captain with Boston Harbor Cruises in partnership with the MBTA.

“For the most part, the people live on the South Shore and commute into their jobs in the city in the morning and naturally in the evening, return home,” Mark Nolan, captain with Boston Harbor Cruises at Rowes Wharf, said.

He added that there is also a small amount of tourist traffic. According to Nolan, peak service hours are from six to nine in the mornings and approximately four to six-thirty in the evenings. Comparing water transportation to vehicular transportation, Nolan said, “I do think it’s definitely more efficient, I mean these boats typically carry anywhere between, during peak hours, 200 to 250 people sometimes over 300 people. So naturally in that case, would be much more efficient than the auto mobile”.

Susan Coakley, 54, of Hingham works at BMC Healthnet Plan in Back Bay and routinely takes the commuter service. “I take either the boat or the train from the South Shore. From here, I typically take, often take the Hubway bikes from here to Copley. If, you know, the weather is not good I might take the subway from [Rowes Wharf] to Copley or walk.” Coakley has a monthly pass, viable for the subway and boat, that is subsidized by her employer. Her daily commute, one way, is around 55 to 70 minutes which also gives her the chance to get a lot of work done.

“It is a wonderful experience, I really enjoy it. You get on and the boat leaves on time, everyday, and it doesn’t stop until it arrives in Boston”, said Scituate resident Nancy O’Connor,62, who is Executive Vice President at Intercontinental Insurance Brokers, LLC.

She is able to purchase a monthly pass, pre-tax, through her office which she said is a great advantage. O’Connor also has the option of taking the commuter train that is also convenient.

“I prefer to take the ferry because it is very reliable,” she said.

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