Testimonials from Hull/Hingham Ferry Riders

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As a captain with BHC, and a former Deckhand and Captain with the company that operated the Quincy service, shutting down the Hingham and Hull ferry service will be devastating to me and many others on a professional and personal level.

 

While I understand that the pandemic has caused financial hardship on the MBTA, I know that the commuters will be back once they return to work, as many of them have been returning in past months. I am concerned that if the MBTA shuts down the ferries completely they will find reasons not to reopen.

 

Further, cutting out the ferry service will adversely affect the future of the local marine industry as the next wave of skilled workers won’t be getting their start. These effects will not be seen immediately but will be felt years down the road. In the marine industry, as with many skilled worker based industries there has been a serious skills gap as workers retire without replacements coming in. Without what has been a first step for hundreds, the future of the industry will be in danger. The skills needed for my position have been learned over many years. Without new minds starting their journey, the future workforce will not have the skills needed to pass on to other companies and industries in the harbor.

 

The ferry is a necessity and urge the MBTA to reconsider eliminating this service.

Jamie Callaghan - Captain, Boston Harbor Cruises

I am a resident of Hull and have been a commuter on the Hull/Hingham ferry for over 20 years. I am writing to request that the MBTA maintain ferry service to Boston from Hingham and Hull. While I know the pandemic has resulted in reduced ridership and therefore made running the ferry service challenging, those of us who live in these S. Shore communities rely on the ferry to get to our jobs in Boston. Hull is situated on a peninsula and geographically isolated. The ferry provides a vital link to Boston from our town and is the reason many of us chose to live here.  The ferry has always been a very efficient and reliable way to commute from the South Shore and I can get to my office within 45 minutes -  a commute that would otherwise take well over an hour. Efficiency on my commute is very important to me as I am a working parent with a special needs child whom I have to get home to.  If ferry runs need to be reduced that could be an option but please do not end the ferry service from Hull and Hingham as it will create hardship for those of us who live here.

 

Please continue to run this service!

Sarah White

resident of Hull, MA

Messages from the ferry riders . . .

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My daughter is 23 years old and will never have a driver's license. Her very first experience alone on public transportation was taking the ferry from the aquarium home. It gave her a great feeling of independence, and it remains the one mode of transportation she can access with her friends without supervision since it does not make stops and it’s safe. Eliminating the essential ferry service to Hull will be a very serious loss for people with disabilities. During the COVID time numerous different group homes have been taking outings on the boat with people in wheelchairs and walkers. The caregivers were so kind and they were so glad to have a place where disabled people can enjoy a Cruise and get into Boston. Many people do not have access to Boston any other way and the train is not accessible for them. 

Maria O’Laughlin

resident of Hingham, MA

The Hingham/Hull Ferry Service is a critical part of our transit network that adds a diversity of solutions and ridership by utilizing our waterways. The investments the MBTA has made in docks, ferries and other service infrastructure to build and maintain ferry service for our city and surrounding communities build system resiliency and flexibility for the transit system.

 

I have been personally riding the Hingham Ferry for the past five years, and have continued to ride the ferry since it reopened this June 2020 four days per week to commute from my home in Scituate to Rowes Wharf and onward to Somerville by bike. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic impact on office employee transit to Boston, the ferry was a highly utilized service in the MBTA system keeping thousands of vehicles a day off our roadways, and reducing stress on the commuter rail network. As people slowly return to Boston for work, it is critical that we maintain these systems and continue building the world class city we all envision for Boston.

Alex Whitmore - Founder & CEO of Taza Chocolate

resident of Scituate, MA

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I used the Hingham/Hull ferry across 5 years to commute to my job in downtown Boston. Without the ferry, I would not have been able to access those professional positions as commuting by car would require a 90+ minute commute each way- unsustainable.

I have numerous colleagues who purchased their homes in this area because the ferry place the city within proximity for career advancement,  let alone strong real estate value.

The regional vision has always included ferry service to bring top talent into Boston financial and the healthcare/biotech/life science thriving sector where I am also employed. Talent has moved here from world over to jump this economy.  It would be short sited to remove this service.  I respect the need to rethink and adjust capacity- not remove to impact its viability and sustainability long term.

Think twice-  and then think again.

Liz Kay - Principal,  Quarter Moon Communications

resident of Hull, MA

As a Hingham resident and Hull boat commuter currently working from home, I understand the suspension of service short term, however, cutting service permanently will greatly inconvenience residents of the south shore.

I moved to Hingham last fall, keeping in mind my commute to Charlestown. I know of at least a few others who share my commute, using both the Hull ferry and Charlestown ferry for commuting purposes. I have nothing but great things to say about the service and the people who run the ferries. It has exceeded my expectations and has provided a very pleasant commuting experience.

Once things get back to “normal” and we return to the office, I fear my commute, if the ferry is no longer an option. An overcrowded, unreliable, and long train ride may also not be an option. A 90+ minute drive on a congested highway is also not a viable option.

Keep the Hull/Hingham ferries operating.

Erin Walsh - Clinical Trial Associate, Ziopharm Oncology
resident of Hingham, MA

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I just heard the devastating news that the Hull ferry may stop running. I am a bicycle commuter of the boat. I just purchased an electric bike for my commute. The alternative is awful, driving from Hull to Boston is the worst. I work at Berklee College of Music in the Back Bay, It’s a fortune to park there.

 

I may have to leave my job because of this. Please don’t take this backwards step. COVID will pass and we will be back to normal.  So many people rely on those ferry runs. Many of us moved here because that ferry exists.

 Please, Please, Please keep the ferry running.

Dave Wentling - Production Manager, Berklee School of Music

resident of Hull, MA

Ten years ago my husband and I bought a house in Hull, MA. The Hull/Hingham ferry was the perfect solution and reduced the daily commute from four to five hours to a mere forty minutes round trip each day. 

I went into premature labor at 30 weeks. After 84 hours of labor, I gave birth to a beautiful boy who would spend the next ten weeks of his life in the NICU at MGH. Each day I took the early ferry in and took the last ferry home so I could spend as much time as I could with my infant son. Surprisingly, the nurses at MGH all knew the ferry schedule by heart. I was not the only one taking the ferry to essential medical appointments. Once they knew that I took the ferry, they introduced me to other patients and their families so we could share taxis to Long Wharf. Soon, I began sharing rides from the boat to other medical facilities. It turned out that many people take the ferry to go to essential medical appointments, specialized cancer treatments or even surgeries. Some could not drive or didn’t have a car and were dropped off by friends, neighbors or loved ones.

The one thing I do know is that the ferry played a significant role during a stressful time and continues to do so today.
 

Christa King - Owner of Nectar by the Sea

resident of Hull, MA

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I live in Hull and the ferry has been very important to me. I rode the ferry all the time when I had to have essential chemo treatment in Boston at Dana Farber. I was unable to drive myself there and back for appointments due to the rules of chemo and my wellness or lack thereof. Because of the essential ferry I was able to get myself to all my appointments or be picked up by relatives at the dock or take an Uber from the dock to the appointments. Without the ferry, it would have caused me undue hardship at an already very, very hard time. I still take the ferry to medical appointments when I can not drive myself. I also have my out of town guests take the ferry from Logan to Hull. This saves time and other essential resources, saving on pollution, renting cars, gas, traffic etc. I also always use the ferry to go into Boston as it is the most pleasant and fastest way to town. 
 
Please do not discontinue this essential service. Limiting it is fine but not discontinuing.

Rebecca Sacks - Sacks & Delano Consulting

resident of Hull, MA

The ferry is the most convenient cost effective mode of transportation for hundreds of our working professionals, students and other citizens of all age groups and income levels, and it is a lifeline to many citizens of Hull and the south shore that connects us to Boston.

The ferry service is crucial to the well being of many of us not having access to private vehicles and/or the skill to drive during rush hour on a busy interstate. After working in Boston for ten plus years  and commuting daily from Hull,  my employer was always amazed at no matter what the weather conditions were, I was always at my desk prior to starting time where she would often have to wait for those coming from other sections of Boston.  

Another reason to continue with the ferry is that I would say half of our towns population choose Hull  as their community to live with that decision being made by having access to the most dependable mode of transportation available in the ferry.  Eliminating this service would have an extreme negative effects on the economy of the town as well as  down grading of our property values and thus having the ripple effect of less income for our towns and taking away such valuable services as emergency , police  and fire protection.
 

Janice Ryan

resident of Hull, MA

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I have been a ferry rider for as long as the ferry has been available. My physicians are located in Boston at MGH and I depend on the ferry to get me to these essential appointments. I have found the ferry to be much more reliable than other modes of transportation available to me, especially during the snow and icy conditions of winter. The ferry has never missed a route to Boston due to inclement weather and I rely on this service to get me to my Boston destinations.

I believe halting the ferry service will have dire circumstances. There are multitudes of people that work in and commute to Boston as well as other riders that depend on the affordable and reliable transportation that the ferry provides. I myself, do not want to anticipate trying to commute to Boston using the unreliable train system that we currently have in place, with multiple delays and periodic breakdowns. It would be an archaic mode of transportation compared to the dependable system of ferrying service that we have in place today.

Please don’t halt the ferry service. There are so many riders that will be negatively affected if this service is discontinued. I personally, as well as my family, would be severely impacted if this dependable service is eliminated.

Sheri Anastos

resident of Hull, MA

My family and I chose to move to the Hingham/Hull area specifically because of the ferry system, the most reliable mode of public transportation to and from Boston.  In years such as 2015, we saw an enormous number of train commuting disruptions, which at times left patrons stranded in cold, undesirable weather conditions when the train services went down.   During such times, the Hull ferry had minimal service disruptions.   It is hardly a wonder that during non-pandemic periods, on weekday mornings and evenings, the ferries are standing-room only.

 

The commute to downtown Boston from Hull by car would be over an hour each way.   The ferry cuts my door-to-door commute to under 30 minutes each way.   Rather than spend an extra 5 plus hours a week making a stressful drive to and from the office, I spend my reclaimed time with my daughter who recently received a life-saving liver transplant at Boston Children's Hospital.    

 

If families, like ours, need to reside elsewhere, South Shore home values and enrollment in schools will drop, and local businesses will suffer. We understand the financial hardships that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the MBTA, along with much of the entire nation, but the current distressed environment is temporary.    Offices WILL re-open when the pandemic is over.   Please do not inflict permanent damage on the Hingham/Hull communities by taking away the safest, most reliable, expedient, and eco-friendly mode of transportation into Boston from the South Shore.

Daved Langguth - director at a financial services firm

resident of Hull, MA

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I have lived in Hull for 50 years with my family.  All of us have used the ferry, and I have used  it since I was 16 to commute to Boston for work. Back when I started to use the service, there were basically two boats in the morning and evening.  Catching the next boat was not an option. In today’s world work schedules are not so defined, and many days working past the prescribed time is the norm.

 

Understanding the decline in use is important to know in making decisions.  However, stopping the ferry is not an option.  Perhaps consider creating a schedule with two rides in the morning and two rides in the evening; like the way it all began.  This way people can plan accordingly and have the option of the ferry.   Lastly, it is easy to stop something, but starting it back costs more in the long run in which takes time and or never will start up again.    I am not willing to take that chance are you.

Claire F. Barton Sheridan - Boston Public Schools

resident of Hull, MA

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Save The Ferry is a grassroots network of volunteers with a shared goal of preserving Hull/Hingham ferry service.

Web and content volunteers: Jason McCann (Hull), Dennis Zaia (Hull), Kiley Clapper (Hull),
Nan Doyle (Hull), Martha Berwick (Hingham)

Media volunteers: Joe Berkeley (media director; Hull), Tim Foley (art direction),
Patrick Hnath (art direction; Hull), Richard Green (photographer; Hull), Cindy Thompson (media),
Lisa Borden (media; Hull)

 

Email us at savetheferry2020@gmail.com