The Richmond Register

Local News

June 20, 2013

Valley View Ferry to end weekend service, reduce hours during week

Officials can’t find licensed captains to run boat

RICHMOND — The Valley View Ferry that connects Madison, Fayette and Jessamine counties will begin limiting its weekday hours of operation and end weekend service June 29.

The problem? Inability to find and hire qualified captains.

The no-toll ferry’s new hours will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. It currently is operates from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

Madison Fiscal Court Magistrate and Valley View Ferry Authority Chair Roger Barger made the announcement Thursday morning jointly with Jessamine Fiscal Court Magistrate and Ferry Authority Vice Chair George Dean.

One of the ferry’s two captains has put in his notice, and after June 29, only one captain will be employed by the authority.

U.S. Coast Guard regulations require that captains work no more than 12 hours a day, Dean said.

The ferry transports an average of 350 vehicles a day, and in the past fiscal year, about 110,000 vehicles made the trip over the Kentucky River. It is the second busiest ferry in the state, according to Dean.

Barger said he realizes bicyclists, motorcyclists and sightseers enjoy using the ferry on the weekends, especially in the summer, but the authority had to put the area’s commuters first.

“We felt it’s more important to provide (service) for the workforce,” Barger said.

The ferry is funded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet with contributions from the fiscal courts of Madison, Jessamine and Fayette counties. The state pays the largest chunk – $180,000 annually– while each of the counties contributes $25,000 per year.

The Valley View Ferry Authority meets at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at rotating locations in the three counties. The authority is made up of two representatives from Jessamine County, two from Fayette County and three from Madison County.

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