Link harborside attractions by boat

July 17, 2011

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RE “CONVENTION expansion requires ‘heads on beds,’ ’’ (Op-ed, July 12): The convention center needs more hotel capacity, and one way to get it at small cost would be to strengthen links with hotels in other parts of the city.

We have numerous hotels along the Inner Harbor. This summer, water taxi operators are offering discounted rates so residents can “cruise, hop, and dine’’ at waterfront restaurants.

Similarly, conventioneers could be given special rates between the South Boston waterfront and various hotels downtown, in the North End, and Charlestown. Themed shuttles could whisk those conventioneers from the South Boston docks if they choose not to make the short walk to the Convention Center.

This would generate more ferry ridership, enabling operators to expand their fleets with even better vessels to benefit Boston residents and workers, and it surely would provide conventioneers with unique, memorable experiences. Let us seize an opportunity that does not generate huge debt, fills hotel rooms during hard times, and may enable vessel operators to lower the fares on cross-harbor transit for all passengers.

Alice Boelter