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Fast Ferry Could Come to Perrotti Park

The Block Island Ferry has proposed discontinuing the conventional ferry at Fort Adams for a fast ferry running out of Perrotti Park.

Newporters and tourists may have the option to take a fast ferry to Block Island next summer. The Newport City Council received a communication from the Interstate Navigation Company detailing its plan to switch from a conventional ferry running out of Fort Adams to a fast ferry making trips from Perrotti Park.

According to a letter to the City Manager from an Interstate representative, the company has purchased a fast ferry, which could be ready for service by June 2013.

The ferry was built in 2000 and will undergo “substantial upgrades.” It has approximately a 250-person capacity.

The Block Island Ferry currently runs seasonally from Fort Adams to Block Island. The company plans to discontinue the run to operate the fast ferry from the floating docks at Perrotti Park.  

“In order for this new fast ferry service to be successful, the ferry will need to operate from a downtown Newport location,” the letter reads. ”. . . It is crucial that the ferry be in a position to immediately generate ridership between Newport and Block Island. Interstate does not believe that this ferry service can be successful if it is operated from Fort Adams.”

Tickets would be sold at the downstairs counter of the Harbormaster’s building, as well as online.

When the ferry ran in the summer from Fort Adams, the ferry left once in the morning and returned in the evening. The trip takes approximately two hours each way. The fast ferry will take an hour or less each way.

“This will allow Interstate to make multiple runs between Newport and Block island each day in the summer,” the letter reads.

A definite scheduled has not been completed, but the ferry service anticipates two to three trips per day, including morning and afternoon trips.

“We are hopeful that this new ferry operation will be beneficial, not just to Interstate, but will also be of substantial benefit to tourism in Newport. It will provide another recreational opportunity for visitors to Newport because they will be able to leave Newport in the morning, visit Block Island, and return without having to devote the entire day to the trip.”

Interstate believes it will also encourage vacationers on Block Island to visit Newport.

Dale Clark September 28, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Great idea...Better then bottle-necking in a closely confined area and less room for accident's to take place.We need to spread out the tourist and not have them all gather in one already busy area.
Jack September 28, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Remember the lease on the Newport Yacht Club is up soon, time for the city to take the property back and do what Falmouth, Ma does.....run a city marina
Chmn September 29, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Cities should govern, not be involved in private enterprise, Jacko. Just lease the property to the highest bidder.
Dale Clark September 29, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Lease with an option to resend.Also I would not get into a lease over five years with restrictions.And also the Newport YYacht should have first did's on a newly generated costs,have a clase that any problems that may take place in the said course of lease are there's meaning they must have total replacement insurance to bring the building back to original at todays market replacement costs. Dale Clark
Dale Clark September 30, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Good idea but please not there. Need to go down end of long wharf or the peir by the causeway and have them walk down from tourist center but not Perroti Park way to conjasted...

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