Boston grew up around its harbor, but the waterways that were once our lifelines to the outside world are often barriers to mobility. No Boston community today is more isolated because of the water than East Boston. Yet there is a chance to use an ancient technology — the ferry — to connect that neighborhood with the growing Innovation District in South Boston.
We can’t tell whether a ferry will generate enough ridership to justify its costs. But when the ferry idea is subjected to the kind of scrutiny that infrastructure proposals deserve, it looks like an experiment worth trying — especially since the federal government will cover most of the purchase price of the boats.