Transportation Task Forum On Ferry Service

Transportation Task Force
Forums on Ferry Service
August 16, 2014
Held at the Community Center on GCI at 10:00 A.M.
And at the Islesford Neighborhood House on LCI at 2:00 P.M.

• Meeting called to order at 10:00 A.M. (Community Center/Ladies Aid, Great Cranberry): The Forum was attended by 22 residents and 5 Transportation Task Force members.
• Ron Axelrod read the Transportation Task Force mission statement.
• Sam Donald presented the survey results and the summary he prepared for the forum.
• Questions & Comments from forum attendees:
o What percentage of survey recipients responded to the survey (The survey was not mailed /sent to individuals. It was available on-line and in paper form for anyone to take)
o How does the survey differentiate between year-round residents and summer residents
o There is a seasonal variation in what is needed for ferry service, and this should be reflected in the survey. Ferry service needs are different in summer than in winter
o The Transportation Task Force should follow up to get more information from off-island workers who use the ferry. The survey responses do not adequately reflect this. The frequency and cost of the ferry service has an impact on the costs for the contractors and island homeowners
• Next Steps: Charlie Norris summarized his memo and the proposed next steps for the Task Force (memo attached-as revised, dated August 22, 2014).
• There are 5 basic steps that need to be taken (summarized from Charlie Norris’s memo)
o Ferry Operations and Management Options
o Dock and Infrastructure Needs
o Vessel Requirements and Options
o Funding Needs and Options
o Communicate findings & recommendations to user groups and constituencies (Stakeholder Outreach)
• Questions & Comments from forum attendees:
o How would someone know what a fair price is for a ferry tickets
o People would like more information on the next steps for future TTF forums and meetings and what will eventually be presented at Town Meeting
o Find out what other communities are already doing for ferry transportation
o It shouldn’t be assumed that the U.S. Mail contract is a subsidy when in fact it’s a bid contract
o Are there any other models for how freight is moved around to island communities
o Problems with mail handling: packages sometimes sit on the dock in NEH too long and are sometimes wet when they get delivered to the islands

o The Transportation Task Force should try to include more day-trippers in the survey by posting the survey on the boats and at the community centers.
o Ticket prices and boat capacity affect the potential number of day-trippers and visitors, as does the landing rights in NEH. How many day-trippers/visitors do we want to come to the islands?
o Ferry size/capacity and availability of parking on the mainland both have a significant effect on the number of day-visitors. Do we want to limit this or allow for greater capacity (i.e., do we want to see larger boats and have more parking available)
o How will the Transportation Task Force communicate the survey results and the needs of the community to the ferry operators
o Involve ferry operators and discuss the survey results. Find out what works and what doesn’t work; this will be critical in order for this effort to be successful
o Have a set of questions for the ferry operators to respond to. An interview with ferry operators might work in this effort
o Put the survey results, including the additional comments and summary on the Town’s website
o Make sure that the ferry companies get the list of questions and the survey summary. Engage ferry operators in this process/effort.

Meeting called to order at 2:00 P.M (Islesford Neighborhood House, Little Cranberry): The Forum was attended by 14 residents and 5 Transportation Task Force members.
*This followed the same introduction and process as the forum on Greta Cranberry
• Ron Axelrod read the Transportation Task Force mission statement.
• Sam Donald presented the survey results and the summary he prepared for the forum.
• Next Steps: Charlie Norris summarized his memo and the proposed next steps for the Transportation Task Force (memo attached-as revised, dated August 22, 2014).
• Questions and Comments from Attendees:
o Was there any weighting of the survey questions or answers (residents vs. day-trippers; (This was not done as part of the survey, but it could be done as part of the next steps)
o Is there a particular problem (or problems) that has led to the formation of the Transportation Task Force; (The Selectmen have been getting some feedback from residents. The Selectmen asked for the formation of a committee of the MAC to take a look at this issue. The concern is that safety and reliability of ferry service has deteriorated over the past year or so)
o What are some of the possibilities/options and what can the Selectmen present at Town Meeting
o How can the Town influence what we get for ferry service and what happens with the ferry service(s)
o How willing are the ferry operators to engage with the Town
o How do you compare the data when the different ferry services operate at different times of the year
o Are there any economies of scale/efficiencies gained by having a single operator for ferry service for the Town
o Publish a time-line for the next steps
o Get the boat/ferry operators involved in the process right-away
o The Town needs to have some recourse and leverage with the ferry operators, especially when it comes to safety. The Town has liability once passengers and freight land on the Town’s floats
o The Town should regulate safety aspects of the ferry services in order for them to get free landing rights
o Safety issues should be addressed right-away
• The Transportation Task Force will be looking at both the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the survey results and data