With the start of the winter sailing schedule last week, and the steady decline in ridership that comes with the off-peak season, all Casco Bay Lines customers will now be boarded in Portland, and on Peaks Island, together at the same time. Resident passholders no longer need to arrive 15 minutes early and wait outdoors in designated boarding areas.
The Peaks Island Residential Boarding Pass pilot program was created to ensure space available onboard each trip for passengers that meet the definition of a resident. To continue to provide resident passholders with this assurance, CBL crew will call resident passholders from inside the terminal to board first should there be sufficient ridership to warrant it at any point during the winter. While we will no longer be asking passholders to arrive early and wait outdoors, we do ask that they continue to carry their passes so that they are available in the unlikely event they are needed.
As current passes are valid through June 18, 2022, and we expect to resume boarding passholders first again in May, passholders should hold onto their pass for use next spring. The Board of Directors will be considering feedback related to the pilot, reporting back to the Maine Public Utilities Commission, and making a determination about the future of the program in the coming months.
Signage at the terminal and on Peaks, as well as the temporary outdoor seating area at the gate in Portland, will be removed for the time being. We anticipate most customers will wait indoors during the colder temperatures.
Assisted early boarding and wheelchairs are always available upon request for any passenger, including non-passholders, to accommodate persons with transportation disabilities.
Future updates about the program will be posted here on our website. We will continue to collect feedback on the pilot and, if you have not done so already, we encourage you to send comments to .moc.senilyabocsac@tnemmoc