ELLSWORTH — Beginning Saturday, the Maine State Ferry Service will reduce its schedule because of a “significant” drop in riders and to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. The service reduction will remain in effect until further notice.
According to a statement posted on its website Wednesday afternoon, like many ferry services across the country, the Maine Ferry Service has suffered a sharp drop in ridership, which it attributes to “the current health climate.” With fewer passengers aboard, ferry riders will still be able to practice the recommended social distancing despite the reduced number of trips between the mainland the six islands served by the Ferry Service.
So far, staffing levels at the Ferry Service are largely unchanged. With the reduced schedule, the announcement said, crews will be able to devote more time to sanitizing and maintaining our vessels. This reduction in service also helps limit the exposure of employees and passengers to the coronavirus.
The schedule for service between Bass Harbor and Swan’s Island and Bass Harbor and Frenchboro, effective Saturday, March 28:
Depart Swan’s Island Depart Bass Harbor
6:45 a.m. 7:30 a.m.
8:15 a.m. 9:00 a.m. (11:00 a.m. Wed. and Thurs)
3:45 p.m. 4:30 p.m.
Depart Bass Harbor Depart Frenchboro
9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. (Wednesday and Thursday only)
The complete updated schedule is posted on the Maine Ferry Service website: maine.gov/mdot/ferry.