In Islesboro, we’re scared. We’re masking it with outrage, but we’re afraid the island community we treasure is about to be destroyed by the Maine State Ferry Service.

Six years ago, my family decided to move back to Islesboro to be near my parents, enroll our daughter in the excellent school and live where neighbors look out for each other. It’s challenging, because I commute to Augusta, but it’s been worth it.

Now the ferry service wants to double the price of ferry tickets. A ticket for a vehicle and driver will rise from $13.75 to $30. Passenger tickets will rise from $5.50 to $11. This rate structure was not proposed at public hearings.

Islesboro is only 20 minutes from Lincolnville. We have a symbiotic relationship with the mainland and don’t have services outer islands have. Our markets only supply the basics. We have no bank, no dentist, no vet; our health center doesn’t give childhood immunizations. Some residents, like me, commute to the mainland to work. At least 50 people from the mainland commute daily to the island to work in our boatyards, school, health center and summer homes. Most commuters, in both directions, leave a car in Lincolnville. The lot at the ferry in Lincolnville is jammed in the summer. The higher fare will exacerbate the parking shortage and the ferry service has no solution.

The ferry service says creating the same rate for all islands no matter how far off shore is fair. How is it fair for the ferry service to charge the same amount for Islesboro’s three-mile, 20-minute crossing as it does for North Haven’s 12.5-mile, 70-minute crossing? The per-mile charge for Islesboro’s crossing is four times the charge to go to North Haven.

We on Islesboro don’t understand why the state wants to sabotage our town.

Rebecca Schnur

Islesboro


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: