May 22, 2024 - News

How to pay for the East Boston ferry

Illustration of Benjamin Franklin with his head almost under water

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Eastie ferry returned this spring with renewed interest from commuters — and no way to read Charlie cards.

Why it matters: For those paying for a $90-monthly LinkPass on their Charlie Cards, that means having to spend more on an individual ticket.

  • That requires either buying it on the mTicket app or buying a paper ticket at a T station. There are no ticket kiosks on the dock.

Yes, but: Officials said fare collection system improvements will eventually enable ferry workers to read Charlie Cards.

  • They'll have an update on fare collections later this week.

Protip: David Perry, the new commuter ferry services director, recommends Boston-area passengers buy a Commuter Rail pass for Zone 1A so they don't have to pay extra.

  • The monthly Zone 1A pass costs the same as a monthly LinkPass, but there are also daily and weekly passes available.
  • The paper pass can be used on local subway and bus routes, as well as the Eastie and Charlestown ferries (check the zone map).

Reality check: Things get a little complicated if you buy the pass using the mobile app.

  • The Commuter Rail pass on the mobile app is valid on the Eastie and Charlestown ferries, but not on the subway and bus.

What's next: The Eastie ferry will be free for a month while the Sumner Tunnel is closed for a restoration project.

  • The closure lasts from July 5 to Aug. 5.

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