Ridership surged this summer on the Newport-Providence ferry on Narragansett Bay, with more than 43,000 travelers using the ferry, a jump of nearly 10,000 from the ferry’s inaugural season in 2016, according to the state Department of Transportation.
The ferry ran on an expanded schedule this season, operating from June 16 to October 1. In 2016, the ferry only ran from July 1 to September 4. Still, when comparing the same time in 2017 with last year, the ferry was up by 900 passengers, meaning that the expanded season accounted for nearly 9,000 of the 10,000 additional riders.
“Even with the rainy and cool summer we had this year, the ferry had another very successful season,” said Peter Alviti, DOT director.
A ridership survey showed that 75 percent of passengers were from Rhode Island, while 22 percent were from other states and three percent were international travelers. Saturdays were the busiest days for the ferry. The 12:30 p.m. and the 9:30 a.m. boats leaving from Providence and the 5 p.m. departures from Newport were the most popular trips throughout the season. Tickets each way cost $10 for adults and $5 for children.