A hearing date of Oct. 29 has been scheduled by the state public utilities and carriers commission to review an application for a new ferry service to Prudence Island.
The proposed ferry service would be operated by A&R Marine, a new company. It is challenging the service provided by Prudence Island Ferry Inc., owned by Bruce Medley. He has operated the exclusive service to the island since the mid-1980s.
The hearing will start at 10 am at the PUC building at 89 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick.
A&R Marine would operate as Prudence and Bay Islands Transport, according to its application. The company was formed by Ethan Rossi, who holds a captain’s license, and Patricia Rossi, both of Prudence Island, and Stephen Antaya and Danial Antaya, both of Richmond.
The application was filed on Sept. 19. It seeks a certificate of public convenience and necessity.
The new company will have to prove that is “fit, willing and able to provide ferry service” and that there is a need for the ferry service. With Prudence Island Ferry already offering a service to the island A&R also must prove that the service is inadequate or would be down the road.
Attorney Michael McElroy of Providence, who represents A&R Marine, said the company was formed because Medley commented publicly that his ferry service would shut down on Dec. 1.
But Medley has said that he plans to continue service, and he informed everyone of his plans after legislation to create a ferry authority during the last session of the General Assembly failed.
Prudence Island Ferry is actually a lifeline carrier – it cannot cease operating because it is the only way for people to come and go from the island and the mainland.