Imagine heading to Long Beach Island without the dreaded weekend traffic along Route 72, across the Causeway, and along Long Beach Boulevard.
That image will soon become a reality.
Free ferry service will begin on August 19 and run through Sept. 30, connecting the Tuckerton Seaport and Beach Haven. The 25-seat pontoon boat will depart from the mainland Tuckerton Seaport, cruse through the Tuckerton Creek, and head across the bay to Beach Haven’s Taylor Avenue Municipal Dock.
It will operate on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, departing Tuckerton at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m. and Beach Haven at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The trip will typically take 45 minutes.
The project is mainly financed by an anonymous Tuckerton Seaport supporter, although some public money has been pledged by the Borough of Beach Haven.
The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce tested the idea with a few popular trips departing the Tuckerton Seaport last summer.
Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce CEO Lori Pepenella told the The SandPaper last summer that the idea had been at least 10 years in the making.
The boat is named the Pohatcong II, a nod to the Pohatcong, a steam powered paddle wheeler that ferried passengers from a train station in Tuckerton to Beach Haven in the late 1880s, according to Pepenella.
Ferry service between the mainland and Long Beach Island was last offered during the early 1900s.