News & Updates

Mayor Walsh, BPDA announce new ferry dock coming to Lewis Mall in East Boston

Feb 07, 2020

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) in collaboration with Massport and MassDOT today announced a joint effort to build a new ferry dock at Lewis Mall in East Boston. A new dock for enhanced water transportation service at Lewis Mall has been identified in Imagine Boston 2030Go Boston 2030PLAN: East Boston and Boston Harbor Now’s: Business Plan for New Water Transportation Service as a priority for the residents of East Boston, and part of the City’s work to build equitable transportation options in the City of Boston. The new dock will better support current service and potential future improved water shuttle service.

“We’ve heard from East Boston residents and workers that improved water shuttle service is critical as the neighborhood continues to grow,” said Mayor Walsh. “The Lewis Mall dock represents an important step to make improved water transportation a reality for East Boston, helping us reduce congestion on our roads and strengthen connections between our neighborhoods.”

“MassDOT is committed to working with municipalities to provide safe and effective transportation options,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Lewis Mall was identified in the Boston Harbor Now business planning effort as a location with high potential for successful water transportation service. I am pleased to support the City of Boston’s efforts to modernize, expand, and improve accessibility of this high potential transportation asset.”

Starting this summer, Massport will begin the reconstruction of the ferry dock at Lewis Mall. Lewis Mall is located on the Harborwalk at the southern end of the Mary Ellen Welch Greenway, a major walking and cycling pathway through the neighborhood. Lewis Mall is adjacent to the Maverick Blue Line Station and MBTA’s bus hub and the ferry dock at Lewis Mall will connect to these existing transportation services.

Improvements to the Lewis Mall dock will make the existing underutilized dock both ADA-accessible and usable by the ferries and water taxis that serve other destinations in Boston’s inner harbor. The dock improvements will also provide new lighting and areas for passengers. The project includes modifying the existing timber pier to improve resiliency and reduce the chance of flooding during a coastal storm. A temporary dock is expected to be installed in the summer of 2020, offering the potential for a nearer term pilot service, with a permanent dock to follow in 2021. The dock will be available for Boston Water Taxi service.

The dock responds to the feedback received from community members throughout the BPDA’s PLAN: East Boston community process. Guided by Imagine Boston 2030 and several city-wide strategic plans, PLAN: East Boston is working with community members to produce a framework to predictably shape the future of East Boston, and identify opportunities to preserve, enhance and grow.

“With a ferry dock and other improvements to Lewis Mall, East Boston is one critical step closer to new ferry services that can supplement the Blue Line and provide important new connections to other waterfront neighborhoods,” said Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now’s President and CEO. “We’re thrilled to see these public sector collaborators implementing the proposals of recent community-driven, data-supported planning efforts, including the Inner Harbor Connector.”

The Lewis Mall Ferry Dock was identified as a priority location in Go Boston 2030’s Inner Harbor Ferry Expansion and Boston Harbor Now’s Business Plan for New Water Transportation Service. Lewis Mall is one of four locations that comprise an Inner Harbor Connector, along with Long Wharf, Fan Pier and the Charlestown Navy Yard. Of those four locations, only Lewis Mall has a dock that needs improvements to handle ferry service. Investing in the dock structure will allow for potential pilots of improved service to East Boston in the years ahead.

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