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Ferry operates on reduced schedule – Smithfield Times

Ferry operates on reduced schedule – Smithfield Times

Ferry operates with reduced timetable

Published at 2:31 PM on Monday, July 1, 2024

Effective July 8, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Jamestown-Scotland Ferry will operate on a new schedule until further notice and will reduce service due to current staffing levels and an industrywide shortage of certified maritime positions.

The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry will continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing motorists with free travel in both directions across the James River between Surry and Jamestown.

VDOT has adjusted the ferry schedule so that at least one ferry is always sailing. A second ferry is put into service every day between 2:00 and 8:30 p.m.

VDOT warns motorists to expect possible delays during these periods of limited service and encourages drivers to use the free 511Virginia.org website and mobile app, or the free 511-integrated Waze GPS app, to get the most up-to-date check travel conditions and plan their routes before hitting the road. The VDOT 511 traffic cameras also provide views of current traffic congestion from approximately 0.5 miles from the ferry boarding areas.

The reduction in services raised concerns for Del. Kim Taylor, R-Petersburg, and Sen. Lashrecse Aird, D-Petersburg, whose constituencies include Surry.

“While I appreciate the Virginia Department of Transportation’s commitment to maintaining continuous 24-hour service despite the staging challenges, I must express significant concerns on behalf of my constituents,” Taylor said June 29. “The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry is a critical transportation link for residents of James City County and Surry County, providing essential connectivity across the James River. The reduction in service hours will inevitably impact our community in several profound ways.”

VDOT’s announced reduction in service “came as a shock” and “without public participation and/or without alerting the state representatives of this community,” Aird said in a July 1 statement.

“The ferry is a lifeline for access to Surry County. As an engine for workers, economic development and tourism, this abrupt change in the heart of the travel season is unconscionable,” Aird said. “Additionally, this change could significantly compromise the accessibility of critical healthcare resources. I will immediately meet with VDOT to review this decision and address the overwhelming concerns that the citizens of Surry County have expressed to me.”

According to Taylor’s press release, she also plans to work with VDOT, the office of Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sheppard “Shep” Miller III and Surry County officials to find an alternative solution.

Once on board the ferry, the journey takes approximately 20 minutes. For more information on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry, including the full updated schedule, visit www.JSFerry.org.

VDOT is actively seeking staff to fill vacancies within the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry team. Qualified individuals may apply at https://etgi.fa.us8.oraclecloud.com/hcmUI/CandidateExperience/en/sites/CX_4005.