Residents of Peaks Island are just starting to learn details about the new ferry a Committee of the Casco Bay Island Transit District is intent on purchasing. Many of them don’t like what they are learning about it and are finding that information hard to find anyway. So, in response to that, an informational meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, March 23 at 10:00 am. It will be aboard the Bay Mist at Peaks Island. There will be a short presentation including a Fleet Evaluation. That will be followed by a question and feedback segment from the public to officials. Portlanders may take the 9:30 am ferry to get to the meeting in time.
What angers residents is that the new ferry will accommodate double its replacement. The new ferry will have a maximum seating of 600 passengers whereas the current ferry’s seating maximum is 399 passengers. “We don’t have enough infrastructure to support a ferry that size. We have no infrastructure. No toilets, No public water. Roads can only accommodate so many people,” said SharoAn Cohen, a year round resident who is also a trained ballet dancer. One Peaks resident said that the party who puts on the Reggae Sunday from May – September at Jones Landing should contribute financially to the ferry. “This is for her,” he said. “This is a hot topic on the Island. It’s all anyone is talking about.”
On March 4, 2019, Peaks resident Lisa Penalver, wrote to the regional head of the Federal Transit Authority in Massachusetts, pointing out that there have been “Limited opportunities for public involvement” as the grant requires. This upcoming meeting was hastily put together.
In an email, Penalver said that “There needs to be a lack of imagination and a serious lack of planning.” What about a reservation system, off-site staging and priority resident boarding,” she asked. ‘It’s not rocket science!”
Back in 1981, the State created the Casco Bay Island Transit District. It was formed to protect the public health, safety, comfort and convenience of the islanders in the District.
Munjoyhillnews.com was unable to connect with any of the officials at Casco Bay Lines today.