Upper Peninsula ferry service battle continues

CHIPPEWA COUNTY — The battle between people living on Chippewa County’s Neebish Island and their ferry service provider continues.

The Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority runs the ferry service from Barbeau to Neebish Island.

Last month, the U.S. Coast Guard told EUPTA that the crew had been out of compliance for their scheduled hours.

At a board meeting earlier this week about three dozen concerned citizens showed up to express displeasure in eliminating the ferry service between 6 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. during the work week.

They say it leaves them no time to do evening activities or attend school functions. Some even said it would lower property values on the island.

EUPTA Executive Director Pete Paramski says his hands are tied due to the imposed Coast Guard regulations.

Paramski added it would not be financially sustainable to add a second crew and shift.

He says that alone would cost EUPTA an additional half million dollars a year.

Source: 9 and 10 News

EUP News Staff


  1. Lorene Waybrant

    People are more important than money. Maybe the Coast Guard should but out.

  2. Pete’s hand are not tied he could get more funding from the State and Federal government, it’s the responsibility of the state to supply adequate service to Island residents and not cut ferry service and disadvantage residents and hurt property valves. Theore he cuts service the more it hurts the island.

  3. If money is the issue, why did he build a new, expensive building for the small group that actually sits in the office? Where did the money for that huge expenditure come from? He also schedules public meetings in the middle of the day, where most of the customers would have to take a half-day off of work to even attend (not that it would matter to him). I’ve heard nothing buy bad about this guy since I moved to the Island. The general consensus is that if you want to remain on the board, you’d better agree with him, or he’ll oust you. I think I know where the problem is – with someone that doesn’t seem to answer to anyone, and caters to the rich and connected on Drummond Island !

  4. It should be easy to show the spreadsheet for how they came up with how it will cost EUPTA a half million dollars per year for the added shift. The ferry makes money off ticket sales, it isn’t a free service. Each back-and-forth trip costs $20 per car, more for larger vehicles. Each crossing of the river is approximately 5 minutes.
    My family ran the ferry when it was privately owned and only supported by ticket sales, they made a modest living but they aren’t sitting on millions of dollars. Ticket sales alone were sufficient.

  5. Pat Walter

    You people choose to live on that island that should have been left alone many years ago.. and since you choose to live on that island it’s your fault I believe the people of that island should pay for the ferry and its maintenance and its crew

    • I’m sure that you’d love it if they tore the road out in front of your house. Your fault buddy, you chose to live there. As for the rest of your comment, they buy tickets to cross, so they do pay.

  6. Pat, when we choose to live there the ferry schedule was expectable. It has since been reduced, but only our island. The other two have not.

  7. If there is truth to the rumor I was recently told that Mr Paramski, EUPTA Director was recently relocated here from Newberry. He cost that area $2 million dollars and in lieu of being terminated he was relocated to this area.

  8. JDsFriend

    Pete was not relocated. He worked for MDOT, and was sexually harassing a subordinate. Another person in the office blew the whistle after witnessing several instances. When confronted with the harassment proof, he resigned. He worked a couple other jobs before getting hired at EUPTA. His victim sued the state and was awarded $2.75 million. Milawyersweekly published an article about it. “2.75 settlement ends sexual harassment case against MDOT”
    Also, someone created a eupta website about it. eupta.com instead of org.

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