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RIPTA Ferry, FINALLY!

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Barring some other crazy unforeseen circumstance, RIPTA’s Newport-Providence “water taxi” service is a go for tomorrow.

The service will feature 5 roundtrips per day between Providence Piers (180 Allens Avenue) and Perrotti Park in Newport. The 50 passenger water taxi is smaller than the ferry used for last year’s service. The water taxi does not have a snack bar or rest room facilities (so make sure you go before you go). Due to the loss of the federal subsidy, the fares will also increase to $28 roundtrip for adults.

Service will operate through October. Fare and schedule information at: RIPTA.

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18 Responses to RIPTA Ferry, FINALLY!

  1. Jeffrey August 20, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    The MBTA might be doing away with their ferry service all together.

  2. mental757 August 21, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Someone should do an extended season (April 1 – October 31) Providence-Newport-Block Island run.

  3. dialectric August 21, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    Who is the current contractor, or does RIPTA actually own and maintain boats? It seems like they missed out on a significant amount of $ for the newport summer music festivals which profits probably could have gone a long way to new boat parts. I wonder if something like the NYC water taxi is feasible – if private entities compete for free docking for a year in exchange for some minimum level of service.

  4. Jeffrey August 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    I agree with Mental 757 regarding the Providence_ Newport-Block Island Ferry Run. Maybe Interstate Navigation should have a contract with RIPTA. By the way RIPTA’s current contrract is with Ocean State Shipbuilding, Brooklyn Ct to operate the water taxi.

  5. Jeffrey August 23, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    I also want add that I do not think the M/V Warpdrive is seaworthy to go to Block Island.

  6. P Boyce August 25, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    Providence-Newport water taxi out of service – Again
    http://newsblog.projo.com/2009/08/providencenewpo-1.html

  7. Jef Nickerson August 25, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    I’m envisioning someone’s contract not being renewed next year. If I remember correctly, the operator who ran the ferry in prior years put in a bid for this year. RIPTA had a subsidized bid option (not sure where the subsidy was going to come from), that they submitted for, but RIPTA went with the no-subsidy bid for the service we have now.

    I have to say, with all the issues and delays, even if service does come back before the end of the season, I’m not sure I’d want to ride it. What’s to say that another mechanical problem won’t surface and leave us adrift halfway down the bay?

  8. Jeffrey August 26, 2009 at 5:11 am #

    Before RIPTA started this ferry service, between Newport & Providence, the Interstate Navigation Company had its’ Providence-Newport-Block Island Ferry Run, aka The Block Island Ferry.
    In fact, in the late 1980s-early 1990s I went to Block Island on the MV Nelseco, a passenger ferry that was operating that run. Before then there was the MV Yankee. Interstate Navigation had that ferry for half a century before RIPTA was established.
    They are also looking into having high speed ferry service between Block Island from Newport using a catmaran.
    First RIPTA and the State of Rhode Ilsand should get RIPTA’s budget in order. Then RIPTA and Interstate Navigation should develop a partnership in having not only a Providence-Newport-Ferry Run (Local Ferry Run via TF Green Airport, Homestead on Prudence Island, & Hog Island, but also Express) and maybe bring back the Providence-Newport-Block Island, using catamarans, the M/V Nelseco, etc.
    In addition Interstate Navigation stated a ferry run between between Newport & Point Judith/Galilee.
    I hope that RIPTA, RIDOT, RIPUC and Interstate Navigation Company, aka “The Block Island Ferry” but not a “Ferry” limited to just “Block Island,” would look into this.

  9. Jeffrey September 2, 2009 at 6:36 am #

    Narragansett Bay Shipping website with the M/V Nelseco and my comments about it becoming a RIPTA Ferry.
    http://www.narragansettbayshipping.com/shipDetail.cfm?fs=1&id=927

  10. mental757 September 2, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    It would say a lot to have an established operator do the service. People might be willing to pay the higher fares for a full-service vessel. Having food/drinks would create additional revenue for the operator in an unsubsidized agreement. RIPTA’s marketing efforts would help “sell” the service. I really think linking Providence, Newport, and Block Island would make lots of sense. Instead of having people take the bus to Galilee, bring the ship to Providence!

  11. Jef Nickerson September 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Well that’s that done then.

  12. mental757 September 11, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    OK, lets get to work on next year’s service now, so we can avoid these problems, no, wait…

    …actually have the service.

  13. Jeffrey September 13, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Personally, I expected that this would happen and we are now in September the water taxi would be ending some time next month. In addition, RIPTA and the State of Rhode Island are having budget problems, also RIPTA’s Boston Counterpart, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)is having their budget issues too and may disconitue their Year Round Commuter Ferry Operations (aka personally dubbed, “The MBTA Aqua Line”) operated by Boston Harbor Cruises between Long Wharf & Charlestown Navy Yard (Inner Harbor Ferry) and between Rowes Wharf & Hewitt Cover in Hingham (Hingham Commuter Boat) and another ferry service operated be Water Transportation Alternatives(WTA), The MBTA’s Harbor Express Ferry between Long Wharf, Perberton Pier in Hull, Quincy Fore River Shipyard & Logan Airport.
    Before RIPTA has plan another ferry or water taxi service, they should get their budget in order.
    Now as far as RIPTA subsidizing ferry service to Block Island, I do not see it happening at this time and first RIPTA and Interstate Navigation must establish a contract first. As far as RIPTA ferry operations are concerned, I think they are restricted to passenger only-commuter ferry runs between Newport & Providence. The former Providence, Newport & Block Island (before the RIPTA Ferry Service Between Providence & Newport) and the current Newport & Block Island Ferry Run operated by Interstate Navigation are seasonal ferry runs. If RIPTA added Block Island to their service area, both RIPTA & Interstate Navigation would also have to agree on a contract for the year round vehicle-passenger ferry run between Point Judith & Block Island, which during the off Season cuts back on their ferry runs, especially during the winter. In addtion, if there is a winter storm, the ferry will not run.
    There are a number of things that RIPTA should also look into, which I mention with some earlier responses regarding RIPTA’s Water Transit Operations, that I hope is looked into at the appropriate time and not when RIPTA has budget issues.

  14. mental757 September 14, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    Agreed, but this year’s service and potential future service can operate without a RIPTA subsidy. I’d rather have the service un-subsidized and more expensive, then nothing at all – which is what we got this year.

  15. mental757 September 29, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    9/29/09 PROJO: “Mechanical troubles led to demise of Newport ferry service”

    http://www.projo.com/news/content/RIPTA_ferry_09-29-09_J5FSJ6E_v8.3b40dfa.html

  16. Jef Nickerson March 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    No ferry this year 🙁

  17. Jim March 24, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Didn’t they say that last year?

  18. mental757 March 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    here is the press release from the ripta website:

    http://www.ripta.com/content2089.html

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