The Working Waterfront

Feds provide funds for Lincolnville terminal

Posted 2024-05-13
Last Modified 2024-05-13

Sen. Susan Collins announced that the Maine Department of Transportation will receive a grant award of $7.1 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Service for Rural Communities Grant Program.

The funding will go toward upgrading and modernizing the ferry terminal in Lincolnville to better meet current and anticipated future demand. Earlier this year, Collins wrote DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg in support of the funding request, which originated with the Maine DOT.

“The Lincolnville ferry terminal plays a crucial role in the daily lives of local residents and businesses alike, providing freight and postal services while transporting students to school and people to their jobs,” Collins noted. “This investment will help to ensure safe and reliable transportation service for the estimated 180,000 passengers that travel to and from Islesboro every year.”

Earlier this year, Collins and Rep. Chellie Pingree announced $33 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to support, improve, and modernize passenger ferry service in Maine. The funding was awarded to Maine’s DOT through new ferry grant programs to support passenger ferry systems as they transition to climate-friendly technologies.

The current ferry terminal, constructed in 1959, is reaching the end of its service life. In addition to necessary modernization, improvements are also needed to accommodate a new plug-in hybrid ferry, which is expected to be delivered in 2027. This vessel will primarily operate on battery power, supported by a diesel backup system, and will have the capacity to transport ten additional vehicles.

As one of the six island communities that the Maine State Ferry Service serves, the Islesboro route is the most traveled, serving roughly 600 year-round residents. The route carries roughly 180,000 walk-on passengers and more than 80,000 vehicles every year.