Thursday, 19 April 2018 17:42

Islesboro residents: Ferry rates doubled, despite shortest trip in Maine Featured

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ISLESBORO - Residents and workers on Islesboro are incredibly frustrated with the DOT's decision this week to create a flat rate ferry ticket system for island communities up and down the coast.

"This island's developed with a dependency on the ferry, and the access to the ferry for families like us," said Nokomis, while holding his four-year-old son in his arms.

 

Local leaders say what amounts to a small increase or even a decrease in fares for the five other ferry trips in the state will create a doubling of most commonly-used fares to and from Islesboro and Lincolnville.

 

"I was shocked, honestly," said Laura Read, as she served breakfast to a throng of customers. Read and her husband own the only cafe in town. "It's going to be such a huge increase in what we spend both as a business and as a family. We're gonna honestly have to reconsider whether we can live out here."

 

Why the drastic increase for just one island? The trip to Islesboro is little more than 15 minutes; you can actually see the other terminal from shore. The next quickest trip? A whopping forty minutes between Bass Harbor and Swan's Island.

 

"I could see it going up a dollar or two, you know, a 20% rate hike maybe, but not double,"  Michael Durkee said as he shook his head. "It's really, really gonna mess a lot of people up, from stores to commuters and families." Durkee has been a commuter from the island as a child, and now ferries to work at a marina on Islesboro; 30 years spent traveling altogether.

 

Shaking the stigma that only millionaires live on islands, these diverse, mostly blue-collar residents would rather be known as the community that turned a mansion into a schoolhouse. Now, they fear families might no longer be able to live in this peaceful haven.

 

 

The Maine DOT did not respond to multiple attempts for comment. A press release from the department can be found on the state's website.

 

 

 

 

David Guildford

Weekend Anchor/Reporter
dguildford@wvii.com

David joined the news team in March of 2017. First and foremost he is a proud Mainer. Before reporting for ABC7 and FOX22, he interned at WLBZ2 in Bangor, and attended the University of Maine's journalism program.

David was raised in the western Maine foothills, and has been a lifelong viewer of local Maine news. He hopes to bring this perspective to telling the stories of folks in the community.

When not on the job, David enjoys skiing, snowmobiling, spending time at the family camp on Branch Lake, and playing slow-pitch softball with the other Bangor gym class heroes.