We’re cruising into a new year! Although we’re ready for new beginnings, 2021 brought its own set of adventures, challenges, and experiences that deserve their moment in the spotlight. So, without further ado, we’re tipping our hats to 2021 and all the memories and milestones that made it a year to remember!
Kicking off our 2021 recap is our Terminal Renovation Project. Back in January, Casco Bay Lines announced the beginning of Phase II/Phase III of our Terminal Renovation. Construction activity began ramping up at the end of 2020, continuing into early 2021 without any impact on service and with limited disruption to passengers. Phase II and Phase III of the Terminal Renovation includes adding a second floor over the existing administrative area to open more space on the first floor, reconditioning the foundation system of the existing pier, and creating a new entranceway to improve ease of access. Construction is still ongoing, and we expect the project to wrap up in 2022! Stay tuned for more updates through the Terminal Renovation project page on our website.
Other CBL developments made headway in 2021, including the announcement of a new vessel design project. Following a vote of the Board of Directors, CBL announced in March of 2021 that construction would begin on a battery-powered passenger ferry to service Peaks Island. This announcement came after years of preparation, planning, and lots of teamwork. Currently planned to set sail in 2024, this new vessel will increase the number of vehicles that can be carried to and from Peaks Island from an average of 10 per trip to 16, enhance passenger safety through an improved layout, and feature a modern design and fixtures, The innovative diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system will eliminate up to 800 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. Interested in learning more about our new electric ferry? Check out our full announcement here or browse through our blog for the inside scoop. More news to come in 2022!
2021 also brought a handful of amazing opportunities to connect with our community in new and rewarding ways. Back in August, we partnered with Great Diamond Island resident Bill Middleton and local non-profit Gear Hub to assist with the collection and donation of used bikes across the islands of Casco Bay. With our crew picking up donated bikes along our route and hauling them into our terminal, Gear Hub was able to collect over 35 bikes to refurbish and salvage usable parts for repairs. In October, we partnered with Outdoors Again, another local non-profit that organizes outdoor excursions for paralyzed or handicapped individuals. Our crew welcomed their group of guests and volunteers onto the Bay Mist for a private cruise complete with live music and great weather. Thank you to Gear Hub and Outdoors Again for all the incredible work you do within our local communities – we can’t wait to continue and grow our partnerships in 2022! We welcomed newly elected members to the CBITD Board of Directors following our November 2021 election. Congratulations to Casco Bay Island Transit District Directors Jean Hoffman – Peaks Island, Joseph Donovan – Long Island, Chuck Radis – Islands at Large, and re-elected Director Polly Wentworth – Chebeague Island. We also welcomed our slate of Board Officers: Twain Braden – President, Polly Wentworth – 1st Vice President, Dave Crowley – 2nd Vice President, Jean Hoffman – Treasurer, James Luedke – Clerk, and Steve Anderson – Assistant Clerk.
With the transition on the Board, we paused to thank outgoing Directors for their longtime dedication and service to CBITD. Robin Clark was elected as a Director in November of 2012, volunteering nine years of service to the District. Bill Overlock became a Director in June 2007 and was elected Treasurer shortly thereafter. He held this role for the 14 years to follow. Dan Doane became a Director in November 2006. His 15 years of service to the District represents nearly 40% of the life of the District. All three were instrumental to the District and our team wishes them well!
Last, but certainly not least, we can’t help but enjoy just a little bit of attention! We were fortunate enough to be featured in a handful of news articles (and even got our close-up on TV!) in 2021. Back in June, News Center Maine stopped by to report on our new battery-powered ferry and its “innovative, environmentally-friendly” technology. In August, Workboat Magazine featured our team and discussed the progress CBL has made despite setbacks from COVID-19, including our commitment to ensure that island service was not disrupted. And in September, our Mailboat Run was even voted “Best Cruise” by Downeast Magazine’s 2021 “Best of Maine” issue. What an honor!
As 2021 has come to a close, we’re grateful for the support of our Casco Bay community and for another year of serving our passengers. We wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year, and we’re ready to set sail with you in 2022!