Looming Shutdown Raises Concerns About Ferry Service To Maine Islands

Jun 28, 2017

In the event of a state government shutdown, ferry service to Maine's islands could be reduced or closed if the governor's office does not deem them essential.

Ted Talbot, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Transportation, said he didn't know whether ferry service would be affected in the event of a shutdown. But during the government shutdown of 1991, state ferries ran less frequently to Maine islands.

Vinalhaven Harbor Master James Harris said the island's ferry service is vital to his community and surrounding islands.

"We use our ferry boat for our supplies, you know, produce for the stores," Harris said. "We also use it in emergency situations."

Budget talks are still at an impasse, and it's looking likely that there could be a partial government shutdown.