To the Editor:
My wife and I have been summer residents of Swans Island for many years. For us, the Island Explorer bus service has been one of most beneficial innovations to “life in the slow lane.” We are able to commute as foot passengers on the Swans Island Ferry to Bass Harbor, where we catch the Island Explorer bus for easy access to Mount Desert Island’s many attractions, including trips to Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor.
As long as the 8:15 a.m. ferry is on time, we can catch a bus that is scheduled at the Bass Harbor ferry terminal at 8:57 a.m.
On two occasions this summer, the ferry arrived on time and the bus was at the terminal but left before we could disembark. Foot passengers are not allowed to disembark before all vehicles are off the ferry, but the bus did not wait for any foot passengers to walk up the ramp.
Bus operators ought to be aware that foot passengers from the ferry are potential bus riders and wait to be sure they have a chance to catch the bus.
The bus service does a very good job of adhering to the published schedule, but a short delay to make sure all passengers are served would not have a serious impact.
The operator does not have to keep track of the ferry schedule, but merely wait and look for foot passengers anytime the ferry is disembarking vehicles at the ramp.
We greatly appreciate and support the Island Explorer free bus service and thank its sponsors, including L.L. Bean and private donors. This service should be a model for many of our busiest parks nationwide. But the advent of intermodal transportation to MDI, with interconnecting schedules should be flexible enough to enable users to make all the possible close connections that offer maximum convenience.