Updated 10/5/2020

The entire Casco Bay Island Transit District (CBITD) team is deeply dedicated to the island communities we serve which depend on us for access to the mainland, and we have continued to operate throughout COVID-19 to uphold our mission to provide this service. Due to the risks associated with COVID-19, CBITD has made changes to our operations to protect our customers, employees and communities.

Before visiting our terminal or traveling on our vessels, please be aware of the following:

  • Due to COVID-19, Casco Bay Lines is not running our regular seasonal schedule. The current schedule is a modified version of our winter schedule. Please see below for more information or visit our Schedules page to view the current schedule.
  • In accordance with the provisions in the Governor’s statewide “Stay Safer at Home” Executive Order 49, which were extended in “An Order to Further Implement the Restarting Plan” (Executive Order 55)all persons must wear cloth face coverings at all times when present at our facilities or onboard our vessels.
  • At least six feet of physical distance from others, including our crew, should be maintained at all times. This includes while boarding, debarking, retrieving freight at the docks, or while underway on our vessels.
  • Operations will include only regular service and the sale of all specialty cruise tickets has been halted. We are NOT currently offering any of our specialty cruises including our Mailboat Run, Sunset Run and Sunrise Run. Full refunds will be issued for any pre-purchased specialty cruise tickets.
  • CBITD will, until further notice, be limiting total passenger capacity on the vessels in alignment with CDC guidelines and state requirements related to physical distancing. Capacity limits are as follows: Machigonne: 204*, Aucocisco: 178, Bay Mist: 168, Wabanaki: 156, Maquoit: 138. *Does not include passengers inside vehicles.
  • All passengers will be asked to rip their own tickets and place in a collection receptacle prior to boarding the vessel until further notice.
  • Only ticketed passengers will be allowed to wait inside the terminal.
  • Ticket and freight sales will be limited to credit card transactions only.
  • In accordance with the Governor’s statewide “An Order to Further Implement the Restarting Plan” Executive Order, all travel on CBL ferries should be limited to those purposes permitted under the order.
  • In accordance with the provisions in the Governor’s Executive Order 57, “An Order Regarding Travelers into Maine”that remain in effect until further notice, any resident or non-resident traveling into Maine from states other than Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont or Massachusetts must comply with requirements in the Order related to quarantining. All who fall under this quarantine, and must use CBL for permitted travel, should self-report to CBL staff and will be directed to an isolated exterior section of the vessel for their travel.
  • Only one Freight Agent may be on duty at any given time. There may be delays in any freight that requires extra handling. Large commercial deliveries will only be shipped on the 8:00 am and 12:00 pm Downbay trips from Portland. Perishables and small personal items will continue to be shipped as soon as possible.
  • CBITD will continue to operate unless and until we are completely unable to do so. We encourage customers to prepare for potential future operational changes and to review requirements before arriving at our terminal or traveling on our vessels.

 

The following news updates related to COVID-19 are posted in chronological order and provide additional information related to CBITD’s response to COVID-19:

Winter Rates & Revisions to Current Schedule Beginning October 13, 2020

Beginning on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, off-peak season rates will go into effect.

Due to COVID-19, we will continue to run reduced service for the winter season. Also, effective beginning on October 13, a small number of revisions will be made to the current amended schedule. The resulting schedule more closely resembles the winter schedule that would normally be running absent COVID-19.

More specifically, the revisions replace the 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM Portland departures with an 8:30 PM Portland departure for Inner Bay (without a stop at Peaks) and a 9:15 PM and 10:30 PM Portland departure for Peaks. These revisions provide more consistency in departure times to/from Peaks Island, provide additional evening car ferry service, and allow Casco Bay Lines to maintain isolation of crews for health and safety purposes.

Please note, under the schedule amended for COVID-19, we are not listing a separate schedule for holidays. However, on October 12, 2020, we will be running the car ferry through the 8:45 PM departure from Peaks.

The revised schedule can be viewed here. It has been posted on our website and on the vessels, and is available in the terminal. As we have previously shared, temporary reductions are being made to expand protections for the health and safety of our employees, riders, islanders, and our communities.

Thank you for your continued support. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to moc.s1603439986enily1603439986abocs1603439986ac@tn1603439986emmoc1603439986 with any questions or feedback.

Français

Tarifs d’hiver et changements des horaires actuels à partir du 13 octobre 2020

Español

Tarifas de invierno y modificaciones al horario actual a partir del 13 de octubre de 2020

 

Casco Bay Lines to Reduce Service for Fall Season Beginning August 29

Casco Bay Island Transit District (CBITD) announced on August 18, 2020, that service will be reduced for the upcoming fall season beginning on Saturday, August 29, 2020.

The schedule can be viewed here.. It has been posted on our website and on the vessels, and is available in the terminal.

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the need continues for CBITD to operate under a revised regular service schedule. This latest update represents a slight reduction in passenger service to both the Downbay islands and Peaks Island and one less car ferry run to Peaks compared to the current revised summer schedule that we have been running since June 27.

With Labor Day around the corner and the fall season approaching, many of our seasonal staff are preparing to return to school and we are also expecting a decline in ridership. The changes to the schedule will allow CBITD to operate during the upcoming off-season with fewer total crew members while also continuing the critical practice of separating crews to minimize the likelihood of a suspension of all service. The health and safety of our passengers and employees remains our top priority.

Please be aware that CBITD operations have been modified due to COVID-19. We strongly encourage you to review these operational updates listed at the top of this page on our website before visiting our terminal or traveling on our vessels. We have taken several steps to ensure all who travel are made aware of these changes designed to protect our customers, employees and communities. This includes the addition of a Casco Bay Lines “Ambassador” in the terminal and on select runs to assist in informing all of the need to comply with State orders related to the use of cloth face coverings at all times and the need to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others whenever possible including while boarding, debarking, retrieving freight at the docks and while underway on the vessel. We will continue to utilize this “Ambassador” role into the fall season.

Thank you for your continued support. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to moc.s1603439986enily1603439986abocs1603439986ac@tn1603439986emmoc1603439986 with any questions or feedback.

Français

À partir du 29 août, la compagnie Casco Bay Lines réduit ses heures de service pour la saison d’automne

Español

Casco Bay Lines reduce el servicio para la temporada de otoño a partir del 29 de agosto

 

Casco Bay Lines to Increase Service on June 27

Casco Bay Island Transit District announced today that service will be increased beginning on Saturday, June 27, 2020.

This latest change returns service to CBITD’s regular winter schedule, which was in place before service was initially reduced in March as a result of COVID-19. The health and safety of our passengers and employees has remained our priority throughout the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, some slight modifications have been made to allow CBITD to continue to separate crews and to minimize the likelihood of a suspension of all service.

The schedule can be viewed here. It has also been posted on the vessels and is available in the terminal.

With this change, the number of daily trips, including car ferry service, will nearly double. Additionally, while peak-season rates were scheduled to go into effect on April 18, CBITD postponed this rate increase. With the return to regular service, the rate increase is now scheduled to take effect on Saturday, July 11, 2020. Tickets are valid for 60 days after purchase.

Please be aware that CBITD operations continue to be modified due to COVID-19. We recommend reviewing these operational updates listed above on this page before visiting our terminal or traveling on our vessels. In accordance with the provisions in the Governor’s statewide “Stay Safer at Home” Executive Order 49, which were extended in “An Order to Further Implement the Restarting Plan” (Executive Order 55), CBITD continues to require that all persons wear cloth face coverings at all times when present at our facilities or onboard our vessels. We also ask that customers continue to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others whenever possible including while boarding, debarking, retrieving freight at the docks and while underway on the vessel.

As the state progresses through its reopening plan, we recognize that CBITD must also take thoughtful, gradual steps to provide service for those traveling for purposes permitted under the Governor’s orders. Our entire team is deeply dedicated to doing so safely on behalf of the island communities we serve which depend on us for access to the mainland.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to moc.s1603439986enily1603439986abocs1603439986ac@tn1603439986emmoc1603439986 with any questions or feedback.

Français
La compagnie Casco Bay Lines étendra ses heures d’opération à partir du 27 juin.

Español
Casco Bay Lines aumenta la frecuencia de servicios el 27 de junio

 

Casco Bay Lines to Increase Service and Limit Capacity Beginning May 16

As a reminder, updates to our schedule began on May 16, 2020, and represent an increase in service.

The amended schedule, which reflects the initially-reduced service schedule in place from March 21 – March 27, 2020, can be viewed here. It has been posted on our website and on the vessels, and is available in the terminal. Beginning on May 16, Peaks Island daily car ferry trips will be increased from three to eight runs and the boat will no longer go between Peaks Island and the other islands.

This remains, in comparison to regular service, a temporarily reduced schedule as we continue to take necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of our employees, riders, islanders, and our communities during COVID-19. The off-season rates currently being offered will remain in place until two weeks after the date which we return to a regular service schedule. Any such change would be shared widely in advance.

As part of the initial response to COVID-19, CBITD limited capacity on each vessel from what is permitted by the Coast Guard down to 250 passengers. CBITD will, until further notice, be further limiting total capacity on the vessels in alignment with CDC guidelines and state requirements related to group gatherings and physical distancing. With this increase in service, and given our recent low levels of ridership, we are optimistic this will not present a problem for those who are currently utilizing our service to travel for activities permitted under the Governor’s “Stay Safer at Home” Executive Order.

The capacity limits, listed below, were determined for each vessel based on the need to provide enough space on board for at least six feet of physical distance between riders. Given the configurations of our vessels, it is not possible to mark spacing – riders will need to be mindful of others and work together to maintain the distancing. Those on board are encouraged to ride on the exterior deck whenever possible. Face coverings will continue to be required at all times when present at our facilities or onboard our vessels.

Vessel Coast Guard Capacity
(passengers)
Reduced Capacity (passengers)
Machigonne 399 204*
Aucocisco 399 178
Bay Mist 297 168
Wabanaki 398 156
Maquoit 399 138
*Does not include passengers inside vehicles. 
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to moc.s1603439986enily1603439986abocs1603439986ac@tn1603439986emmoc1603439986 with any questions or feedback.

 

Casco Bay Lines to Increase Service Under Revised Schedule on May 16 

Casco Bay Island Transit District announced on May 11, 2020, that service will be increased beginning on Saturday, May 16, 2020.

The amended schedule, which reflects the initially-reduced service schedule in place from March 21 – March 27, 2020, can be viewed here. It has been posted on our website and on the vessels and is available in the terminal.

With this change, Peaks Island daily car ferry trips will be increased from three to eight runs and the boat will no longer go between Peaks Island and the other islands

Reductions to our regular seasonal service continue to be necessary to ensure the health and safety of our employees, riders, islanders, and our communities, and will remain in place until further notice – likely at least through May. However, increased availability of seasonal staff provides an opportunity to offer additional trips while still allowing CBITD to segregate crews and minimize the likelihood of a suspension of all service.

Please be aware that CBITD, in accordance with the Governor’s “Stay Safer at Home” Executive Order, is requiring that all persons wear cloth face coverings at all times when present at our facilities or onboard our vessels. Still, all crew and customers should continue to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others whenever possible including while boarding, debarking, retrieving freight at the docks and while underway on the vessel.

Finally, even with warmer weather and increased service, we remind everyone that travel on our ferries must be restricted to those purposes permitted under the Governor’s orders.

We are grateful for your commitment to the importance of these measures. In return, we will continue to look ahead and take action that reflects our commitment to this community and the islands we serve.

More information about operations during COVID-19 can be found below.  As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to moc.s1603439986enily1603439986abocs1603439986ac@tn1603439986emmoc1603439986 with any questions or feedback.

Français
À partir du 16 mai et conformément aux nouveaux horaires, la compagnie Casco Bay Lines étend ses heures d’opérations

Español
Casco Bay Lines aumenta la frecuencia de servicios el 16 de mayo bajo el horario modificado

 

Face Coverings Required by State Order Beginning May 1st

As you are likely aware, Governor Janet Mills recently issued a “Stay Safer at Home” Executive Order. The new order continues to have Maine people stay at home with the same established exceptions for permitted activities, such as occasional grocery shopping or exercising, and now also allows Maine people to visit businesses or participate in activities deemed safe to open under Stage 1 of the reopening plan (PDF).

Additionally, the order requires Maine people to wear cloth face coverings in public places where physical distancing is difficult to maintain, as recommended by the U.S. CDC. The order specifically identifies ferry transit as a public setting where face coverings must be worn.

This statewide requirement goes into effect tomorrow, Friday, May 1st, and Casco Bay Lines will adhere by requiring, until further notice, that all persons wear cloth face coverings at all times when present at our facilities or onboard our vessels.

Under the order, cloth face coverings are not required for children under age 2, a child in a childcare setting, or for anyone who has trouble breathing or related medical conditions, or who is otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Please be advised that any person not wearing a cloth face covering will not be permitted to buy a ticket or board a ferry and all passengers and crew will be required to wear cloth face coverings during the entire trip.  Any person who violates this directive may be barred from future passage.

As we have previously shared, we are providing cloth face coverings to our staff to be worn at all times. We have also made face shields available to those staff who wish to use this additional equipment. The CDC guidance on face coverings is very helpful and includes instructions to fashion masks from household items.

Casco Bay Lines will continue to instruct all crew and customers to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others whenever possible including while boarding, debarking, retrieving freight at the docks and while underway on the vessel.

Further, travel on CBL ferries should continue to be restricted to those purposes allowed under the Governor’s orders.

Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation as we work together to protect our customers, our crew and our community, and enter collectively into this new month and new phase of response to COVID-19.

This page will be updated regularly as policies and procedures may change.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to moc.s1603439986enily1603439986abocs1603439986ac@tn1603439986emmoc1603439986.

Français
A partir du 1er mai et par décret de l’État, il est obligatoire de se couvrir le visage.
Español
Orden estatal exige el uso de mascarillas faciales a partir del 1 de mayo

 

Casco Bay Lines Shares COVID-19 Update

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings to slow the spread of the virus. CBL has partnered with Sea Bags to procure cloth masks which are being worn by our staff at all times. Additionally, we have partnered with Flowfold to make face shields available to those staff who wish to use this additional equipment. We strongly encourage all who are riding the ferry to also wear cloth face coverings. The CDC guidance on this is very helpful and includes instructions to fashion masks from household items.

You will also soon see new signage reminding all to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others at all times including while boarding, debarking, retrieving freight at the docks and while underway on the vessel.

The Governor’s statewide stay healthy at home mandate remains in effect until at least April 30, 2020 and, as a reminder, it states that “no one shall use public transportation unless absolutely necessary, for an essential reason or for an essential job that cannot be done from home”. The City of Portland’s emergency stay at home order remains in effect until April 27, 2020. It is possible both will be extended and we will be watching this closely. Because these orders restrict all travel on CBL ferries to those purposes allowed under the orders, and in light of the sustained need to protect our customers, our crew and our community, our current reduced schedule for all islands will remain in place for the time being. Any updates to this will be communicated widely. As we have done throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we will continue to follow guidance from public health officials.

 

Casco Bay Lines Announces Extension of Off-Season Rates

On Tuesday afternoon, Casco Bay Island Transit District (CBITD) announced that it will be extending its off-season rates in response to COVID-19. Peak-season rates were scheduled to go into effect on Saturday, April 18, 2020. For many reasons, including that those traveling have been primarily those essential workers supporting our community during the COVID-19 crisis, the decision was made to postpone this rate increase until two weeks after a return to regularly scheduled service. Tickets continue to be available for purchase in the terminal.

We remain deeply committed to the CBITD island communities and will continue to do what we can to lessen the impacts of this crisis on our customers, our crews, and our community. Please continue to refer to this page on our website as policies and procedures are updated regularly.

Français
La compagnie Casco Bay Lines prolonge la durée de ses tarifs hors-saison

Español
Casco Bay Lines anuncia la extensión de las tarifas de temporada baja

 

Essential Travel & Safety Measures

Beyond our schedule adjustment detailed below in “Casco Bay Lines Announces Additional Changes to Service Schedule in Response to COVID-19” , the most important steps we must continue to take are related to safety, hygiene and physical distancing. Governor Mills has issued a statewide stay healthy at home mandate beginning on April 2nd  which, among other things, states, “no one shall use public transportation unless absolutely necessary, for an essential reason or for an essential job that cannot be done from home”. The City of Portland has also extended its emergency stay at home order. All travel on CBL ferries should be restricted to those purposes allowed under the orders. We have been sharing this information widely and recent steep declines in ridership suggest a collective understanding of how important these orders are for the safety of those crew members and customers on board for essential purposes.

If you have ridden sometime in the past few weeks, you may have also noticed our crew utilizing commercial-grade backpack cleaning devices to sanitize the vessels with disinfectant that is highly effective against the COVID-19 virus. This measure will not only increase the safety of our vessels for essential riders, it allows CBL to do so in a way that is safe for our crew and requires no personal protective equipment.

We strongly encourage all to practice CDC recommendations for physical distancing when using our vessels or terminal for essential travel. And please understand that our staff are taking every precaution possible while performing the essential duties of their job which may, on rare occasions, require them to work in close proximity to one another.

 

Casco Bay Lines Announces Additional Changes to Service Schedule in Response to COVID-19

On Wednesday afternoon, March 25, 2020, Casco Bay Island Transit District announced that service will be further reduced beginning on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

On Thursday, March 26, 2020, CBITD revised the schedule to now include a new 4:45 AM departure from Portland to Peaks Island and a new 5:00 AM departure from Peaks Island to Portland.

The amended schedule, with this update, can be viewed here, has been posted on our website and on the vessels, and is available in the terminal. These additional, temporary reductions are being made in light of the need to expand protections for the health and safety of our employees, riders, islanders, and our communities, and recent declines in ridership. The schedule provides continuity of essential passenger and vehicle service.

This decision follows an initial reduction in service that went into effect on March 21, 2020, detailed below under “Casco Bay Lines Temporarily Reduces Service in Response to COVID-19” . The additional reduction allows CBITD to further minimize COVID-19 exposure for as many of our staff as possible, cutting the number of necessary marine crew approximately in half from what is being used under the current, reduced schedule. This also preserves the availability of non-active crew members to sustain service should others test positive for COVID-19, thereby decreasing the likelihood of a suspension of all service.

As the Governor and the City of Portland work quickly to take additional steps to protect public health, it is critical that we do our part to limit exposure. The ridership numbers have declined dramatically, which should allow those who are utilizing the ferry for essential travel to practice physical distancing.

Limited freight service will remain available. Only one Freight Agent will be on duty at any given time. Consequently, there may be delays in any freight that requires extra handling (i.e. forklift, assistance unloading). Additionally, large commercial deliveries (pallets, lifts of lumber, etc) will only be shipped on the 12:00 pm Downbay trip from Portland. Perishables and small personal items will continue to be shipped as soon as possible.

CBITD continues to monitor and make operational changes as necessary in response to COVID-19. The previous decision to cancel all on-site committee and public meetings has been extended through the end of April, total ridership on board each vessel has been limited and will continue to include only regular service. The sale of all specialty cruise tickets has been halted. In addition to expanded sanitation efforts, all regular service passengers are encouraged to practice physical distancing and are being asked to rip their own tickets and place in a collection receptacle prior to boarding the vessel until further notice. Ticket and freight point of sales will be accepting credit cards only.

Customers are encouraged to review the City of Portland’s Stay at Home Emergency Order and limit their use of our ferries to essential travel only. Future additional changes or further temporary reductions in service remain a possibility. Suspension of all service would occur only in the event there is insufficient crew available to meet required Coast Guard regulations.

We are grateful to our staff who remain deeply dedicated to the CBITD island communities and are working diligently to uphold our mission to provide essential transit service.

Français
En raison de la COVID-19, la compagnie Casco Bay Lines annonce des changements supplémentaires dans les horaires de ses navettes.

Español
Casco Bay Lines anuncia cambios adicionales en el horario de servicios en respuesta al COVID-19

 

Notice: Special Executive Committee meetings to be held weekly via conference call

To monitor the status of CBITD operations during COVID-19, Casco Bay Island Transit District’s Executive Committee will hold weekly meetings via conference call only every Thursday through April 30, 2020, with the first meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 26, at 7:45 AM.

All public comments sent to moc.s1603439986enily1603439986abocs1603439986ac@tn1603439986emmoc1603439986 received before 6:45 AM on the morning of a meeting will be shared with the Committee for consideration.

Meeting information can be found on the CBITD website calendar.  Please check the calendar frequently for any updates or changes to scheduled meetings or dial-in information.

 

Casco Bay Lines Temporarily Reduces Service in Response to COVID-19

Casco Bay Island Transit District announced a temporary reduction in service that will be in effect March 21- 27, 2020.

The amended schedule has been posted on the schedule page of the website and on the vessels, and is available in the terminal. The schedule considers recent ridership data and allows for continuation of passenger and vehicle service during morning and afternoon peak times, as well as during midday hours.

This decision, while not taken lightly, was driven by CBITD’s desire to continue to protect the health and safety of our employees, riders, islanders, and our communities while planning for continuity of operations.

Reducing the level of service will allow CBITD to minimize COVID-19 exposure for as many of our crew members and shoreside staff as possible which is critical as we seek to do our part in flattening the curve of community spread.

Our entire team remains deeply dedicated to the island communities we serve which depend on us for access to the mainland, and we will continue to work diligently to uphold our mission to provide this service. Under this amended schedule, Peaks and Down Bay/Inner Bay service can each be provided by one boat crew, respectively, per day. A crew will work for a two-week period in an effort to preserve the availability of non-active crew members to sustain service should others test positive for COVID-19, thereby decreasing the likelihood of a suspension of all service.

In addition to the marine crew reduction, shoreside staffing will change beginning March 21. Only one Freight Agent will be on duty at any given time. Consequently, there may be delays in any freight that requires extra handling (i.e. forklift, assistance unloading). Additionally, large commercial deliveries (pallets, lifts of lumber, etc) will only be shipped on the 12:00 pm Downbay trip from Portland. Perishables and small personal items will continue to be shipped as soon as possible.

The schedule reduction represents the latest operational change made in response to COVID-19. All committee and public meetings have been canceled through the end of the month of March, total ridership on board each vessel has been limited and will include only regular service. The sale of all specialty cruise tickets has been halted. In addition to expanded sanitation efforts, all regular service passengers are encouraged to practice social distancing and are being asked to rip their own tickets and place in a collection receptacle prior to boarding the vessel until further notice. Passengers are encouraged to limit their use of our ferries to essential travel only.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving rapidly, customers should be prepared for future additional changes or further temporary reductions in service. Suspension of all service would occur only in the event there is insufficient crew available to meet required Coast Guard regulations.

Notices related to COVID-19 will continue to be posted here on our website, in the terminal, on the vessels and sent to our enewsletter list.

Français
La compagnie Casco Bay Lines réduit temporairement le nombre de ses navettes en raison de la COVID-19

Español
Casco Bay Lines reduce temporalmente el servicio en respuesta al COVID-19

 

CBITD Special Meeting of Board of Directors

During a Special Meeting of the Board of Directors on Thursday, March 19, the Casco Bay Island Transit District Board of Directors voted unanimously to delegate temporary authority to the General Manager and the President of the Board to manage operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution represents the latest effort by CBITD to protect the health and safety of the District’s employees, riders, and islanders, and to prepare for any future emergency responses necessitated by the evolving COVID-19 outbreak while continuing to provide as much service to and from the islands as possible.

The resolution also stipulates that temporary suspension of all service shall occur only in the event there is insufficient crew available to meet required Coast Guard regulations and delegates this emergency authority until another Board meeting is called. The Board also requested that they be alerted of any operational changes and have called for a weekly Executive Committee meeting to continue to monitor the situation.

Notice of any temporary changes to the sailing schedule, hours of operation of the terminal, or other operational changes made in response to COVID-19 will be posted here on our website, in the terminal, on the vessels and sent to our enewsletter list.

Information about CBITD’s ongoing efforts related to COVID-19 can be found below.

 

CBITD COVID-19 Response 

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. As this continues to evolve, please know that the health and safety of our passengers and employees remains our number one priority.

Casco Bay Lines is taking guidance from the Cumberland County Public Health District and Maine Centers for Disease Control on any operational changes that may be required due to the spread of the COVID-19. We are utilizing commercial-grade backpack cleaning devices to sanitize the vessels with disinfectant that is highly effective against the COVID-19 virus. This measure will not only increase the safety of our vessels for essential riders, it allows CBL to do so in a way that is safe for our crew and requires no personal protective equipment. Extra hand sanitizer dispensers and information materials have been deployed in the terminal and on our vessels for our customers to use while traveling with us. We are well-stocked with cleaning supplies and have provided our staff with education and support related to COVID-19 including proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

In accordance with the latest CDC recommendations, all employees will be wearing cloth face coverings when interacting with or in the vicinity of customers and in any other work-related public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. We have instructed employees to wear gloves whenever handling cargo, cleaning or touching hard surfaces.  We are also requiring that any sick employees remain home from work.

In keeping with public health recommendations and local and state orders, we have implemented the following policies:

  • All committee and public meetings have been canceled through the end of the month of April. This includes our March 26th Board meeting.
  • Effective March 14, 2020, the maximum capacity on board each vessel cannot exceed more than 250 passengers.
  • Operations will include only regular service. The sale of all specialty cruisetickets has been halted through the end of the month of April. Full refunds will be issued for any pre-purchased specialty cruise tickets.
  • All regular service passengers will be asked to rip their own tickets and place in a collection receptacle prior to boarding the vessel until further notice.
  • Ticket and freight sales will be accepting credit card payment only.
  • Only ticketed passengers will be allowed to wait inside the terminal.
  • In accordance with the Governor’s statewide stay healthy at home mandate and the City of Portland’s emergency stay at home order, all travel on CBL ferries should be limited to those purposes deemed essential and allowed under the orders.
  • In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order Establishing Arriving Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers in Maine, any resident or non-resident traveling into Maine must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days except when engaging in essential services. All who fall under this quarantine, and must use CBL for essential travel, should self-report to CBL staff and will be directed to an isolated exterior section of the vessel for their travel.
  • We will continue to operate unless and until we are completely unable to do so. As this evolves daily, we encourage customers to prepare for potential future operational changes.

We will also be looking to our passengers to assist in our efforts. In addition to taking the personal health preparedness steps that have been widely circulating in the news – wash your hands, don’t touch your face, cover coughs and sneezes –  we encourage passengers to follow health officials’ recommendations for social distancing when possible while visiting our terminal or riding the ferry. There are several options for ferry riders to maintain a healthy amount of separation from fellow passengers:

  • Customers can opt to stay in their vehicles if they drive on the car ferry.
  • Ferry boats are much larger vessels than most other forms of transit, which gives passengers more opportunity to keep some distance between each other.
  • Restrooms with running water and hand soap are available on all vessels, unlike many other forms of public transit. Riders are encouraged to use these facilities.
  • If travel is necessary, passengers should consider traveling outside of the morning and afternoon commutes when the largest number of passengers travel.
  • If you feel ill or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider and avoid traveling if possible.

Casco Bay Lines continues to work closely with the Cumberland District Public Health Liaison, the Maine Center for Disease Control and other state and local agencies to help protect the public and our employees.

Casco Bay Island Transit District’s Board President called a Special Meeting of the Board of Directors for Thursday, March 19, at 7:30 AM via conference call.

The purpose of the meeting was for the Board to consider a Motion to delegate temporary authority to the General Manager and the President of the Board to manage operations during the coronavirus pandemic to protect the health and safety of the District’s employees, riders, and islanders, and to continue to maintain service to and from the islands as much as possible.

Specifically, the Board considered the following proposed resolution to prepare for any future emergency responses necessitated by the evolving COVID-19 outbreak:

RESOLVED:  To protect the health and safety of Casco Bay Island Transit District employees, riders, and islanders, and to continue to provide as much service to and from the islands as possible, the General Manager of the District and the President of the Board jointly are authorized to make any such temporary changes to the sailing schedule, hours of operation of the terminal, staffing levels, and the collection of fares, including but not limited to, temporary reduction, restructuring, or suspension of service and temporary reduction in terminal hours (including closing) as they deem reasonable and appropriate in response to the coronavirus pandemic; provided that temporary suspension of service shall occur only in the event there is insufficient crew available to meet required Coast Guard regulations and provided further that the public shall be provided as much notice as possible of any change in service. This delegation authority shall continue until the next Board meeting.

Members of the public were not be able to participate directly in the call but were encouraged to send comments to moc.s1603439986enily1603439986abocs1603439986ac@tn1603439986emmoc1603439986. All comments received before 6:30 AM on Thursday, March 19, 2020, were shared with the Board prior to their consideration of the resolution.

Below are resources made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Website

What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 – CDC

What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 – CDC

Share facts about COVID-19 – CDC

Should circumstances change, we will provide updates to this page and alert our passengers using our Facebook page and our enewsletter list. We value this community and thank you all for your cooperation in this effort.

Updates will be shared regularly.