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Maine State Ferry Service
  • Published
    August 5, 2019

    Ferry Advisory Board annual report highlights progress, problems

    Ticket rates, the annual budget and parking issues are among the concerns of members of Maine State Ferry Service Advisory Board as outlined in its annual report submitted last week. Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note, who assumed office earlier this year, was sent the report July 31. Maine DOT oversees the ferry service, which provides transportation to Islesboro, Matinicus, North ...

  • Published
    July 17, 2019

    Maine DOT dumps flat-rate ferry tickets, offers new fare proposal

    After more than a year of elevated ferry rates that drew the ire of island residents, Maine Department of Transportation on July 10 released a revised structure designed to reverse the drop-off in ridership and revenue. The latest proposal does away with the flat rates across all islands served by Maine State Ferry Service, which include Islesboro, Frenchboro, Matinicus, Swans Island, North Haven and Vinalhaven. M...

  • Published
    April 16, 2019

    Islesboro residents air ferry rate concerns to new commissioner

    Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note opened an April 13 public meeting about ferry rates with an apology to Islesboro residents: “The (rate-setting) process did not meet the high standards of Maine DOT … And for that, I'm sorry. In my view that's not the way to go about it. I know the rates have been very disruptive to this island community.” Van Note acknowledged that in the time since ...

  • Published
    April 4, 2019

    Preview of new ferry rates shows 17% additional hike

    In a courtesy notification to island officials, Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note outlined anticipated ferry rate changes to be officially published in early April. The changes reflect increases 15 percent to 20 percent above the current flat-rate fees that went into effect in May 2018 over the objections of many islanders. Most vocal were Islesboro officials, who objected to a more ...

  • Published
    March 21, 2019

    Islesboro officials: New ferry rates 'certain to fail'

    Islesboro officials are objecting to plans to revisit a flat-rate ferry rate increase proposed by the Maine Department of Transportation. Commissioner Bruce Van Note on March 6 wrote to Ferry Service Advisory Board members and said while he believes “additional analysis is necessary,” he expects to present a proposal similar to Tariff No. 8 as a starting point at the end of the month. “Unfortunately, due to the ...

  • Published
    March 13, 2019

    DOT expected to propose new ferry rates in April

    Maine Department of Transportation has requested an additional court delay regarding Islesboro's lawsuit around ferry rates. In an email to island residents, the town said Maine DOT “intends to propose a new rate structure by April 1st. A public hearing and comment process will follow. In the meantime, Tariff No. 8 will remain in place.” Implementation of Tariff No. 8 led Islesboro to file a lawsuit, citing ...

  • Published
    November 29, 2018

    Islanders turn out for hearing on ferry rates

    Most of the more than 150 people at a public hearing Nov. 28 expressed displeasure about changes to the Maine State Ferry Service rate structure. The only person to speak positively about the change was Frenchboro resident Duncan Bond, who also is a member of the Ferry Service Advisory Board. "We, of course, are pleased with the new structure," he said, noting Frenchboro saw decreased fares. "I know it's different...

  • Published
    November 9, 2018

    Island residents have new chance to weigh in on ferry rates

    A superior court judge has issued a stay of the ferry rate lawsuit filed by Islesboro against Maine Department of Transportation to allow the state agency to hold a public hearing. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28, at noon, at the University of Maine's Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave., Belfast. During the public hearing, Maine DOT will receive comments on the flat-rate ferry fees that have been ...

  • Published
    June 12, 2018

    Islesboro lawsuit seeks to void ferry rate increase

    The actions of one island community are pitting it — and its state representative — against other island officials and the state. Islesboro filed a lawsuit against Maine Department of Transportation late in May, seeking to review a final decision by Maine DOT to increase ferry rates. Islanders in that town say the rate increases unfairly impact Islesboro, while other Penobscot Bay islands are seeing smaller ...

  • Published
    May 17, 2018

    Islesboro's request for delay in ferry rate increase denied

    In a letter released May 17, Maine Department of Transportation Chief Counsel Jim Billings denied a request on behalf of Islesboro to delay implementation of a ferry rate increase. The rates, as planned, will become effective May 21. The new tariff structure approved by Maine DOT, which oversees the ferry service on Penobscot Bay, is a flat rate for all islands served. On Islesboro, according to residents and ...

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