Prudence Island residents are worried about how they’ll get to and from the island this winter. Owner Bruce Medley says he’s ready to retire after running the only ferry service to the island for 43 years.
Medley is in favor of a bill in the statehouse that would create a quasi-public agency to run the ferry. He says this would make the service eligible for federal funding.
“It’s the only way to continue this ferry service," Medley said. "Simply because we have a limited amount of passengers. Money-wise, there’s no way that this company, with its revenue, and even with a rate increase, will ever pay for a new boat, which is probably going to be needed three to five years from now.”
Medley has notified Portsmouth town officials that the last ferry ride offered by his company will be on December 1st.
Portsmouth and Bristol Representative Raymond Gallison has introduced legislation that would create a Prudence Island Ferry Authority. Some islanders oppose the idea of the state getting involved in the ferry service.