Monday, September 17, 2012
By Jim CameronSpecial to WestportNow
Every now and then it’s great to see a transportation system that works really well. Case in point, the Bridgeport to Port Jefferson ferry.
I’ve written in the past about some folks’ crazy idea that ferry boats are the solution to our traffic problems along I-95. They are not. But they do prove useful when they take you where the roads and rails can’t, like across Long Island Sound.
The first ferry ran this 18-mile route in 1872. By 1883 permanent service was offered by a company owned in part by Bridgeport’s PT Barnum (after whom one of the line’s current vessels is named). In 1980, all-season service began with the line’s largest vessel, “The Grand Republic”.
The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company is 100 percent owned by Brian McAllister, a fourth generation seaman and tugboat czar who lives on Long Island. You’ll usually see one of his tugs in Port Jeff’s harbor.
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