Where did my commuter card go?
Ferry company Interstate Navigation has been confiscating commuter cards, but don’t panic — it’s to process renewals. Interstate is asking to take the commuter IDs when an island resident purchases a ticket for the ferry. The card will be renewed and reissued to the resident at his or her next trip off.
“We’re trying to streamline the process,” said Interstate Security Officer Bill McCombe. “If there’s a question, we’ll flag it. Otherwise, the process is trying to save people time.”
Island newcomers can apply for a commuter card at the Block Island Interstate ticket window on Tuesday, January 22, between 4 and 6 p.m. McCombe said there will be other dates announced. An applicant must be a year-round island resident, and should bring a Rhode Island driver’s license.
Interstate currently has an application before the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to, among other things, get rid of the commuter discount. But McCombe says that will not affect the current commuter card renewal process.
Interstate filed with the PUC on November 27, 2012, for permission to collect an additional $1.3 million in revenue. The extra money would come from changes to the traditional ferry ticket pricing structure that would do away with discounts for year-round island residents and decrease car fees while increasing freight charges. Proposed changes won’t take effect until they’re approved.
The Town Council has indicated, from a closed session motion, that it will ask Interstate to keep the commuter cards. An on-island public comment hearing in front of the PUC has been scheduled for April 11 at 12:15 p.m.