Guidance for Disabled Passengers and Passengers Needing Assistance
Interstate Navigation Company operates year round passenger/vehicle ferry service between Point Judith and Block Island, R.I. Interstate Navigation Co. strives to make its service safe, reliable, and accessible for all of its passengers. The following guidelines will assist passengers in deciding which of our vessels might best meet their needs, as well as provide specific information on how to take advantage of the accessibility features aboard our vessels and at our terminals. This guidance is available on our website at www.blockislandferry.com and in printed form in the ticket offices and aboard the ferries.
The Point Judith and Block Island ferry terminals are fully accessible to all. Handicap parking is available both in private and State of R.I. owned parking lots adjacent to the Point Judith ferry terminal. Handicap parking is available in the 48 hour parking lot at the ferry terminal on Block Island. Terminal buildings feature ground floor ticketing windows which allow full wheelchair access to the ticket offices. Accessible waiting rooms with restrooms are also available in the ticket office buildings at both facilities.
The ferries M.V. BLOCK ISLAND and M.V. NELSECO provide the easiest access to all amenities available aboard our vessels.
Our high-speed ferry ATHENA is wheelchair accessible to its main passenger decks, which provide large accommodations, excellent views, accessible restrooms, and food and beverage service.
The M.V. BLOCK ISLAND features wheelchair and disabled access from the vehicle deck to the main passenger cabin via a wheelchair lift. The main passenger cabins provide large accommodations, excellent views, accessible restrooms, and food and beverage service.
The ferry M.V. ISLANDER (passenger only vessel) provides direct wheelchair access to the main passenger cabin, food and beverage service, and accessible restrooms.
Aboard our other ferries, the M.V. CAROL JEAN and M.V. ANNA C., handicap persons may remain in their vehicles during the crossing or be assisted by the crew to the upper main passenger deck. Food and beverage services are available from uniformed crew members for those passengers desiring to remain on the vehicle deck.
Service Animals are permitted aboard all of our vessels and inside our ticket offices.
Reservations can be made over the telephone for both the vehicle and passenger only ferries (During the summer season, reservations are recommended for the high speed ferry ATHENA). When making a vehicle or passenger reservation over the telephone, tell the reservation agents your accessibility requirements and they will assist you in choosing the right vessel for your needs. When making passenger reservations online, we recommend choosing the M.V. BLOCK ISLAND or ATHENA.
Persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may be connected to our reservation call center through a third party provider of text telephone relay service (TRS). Please contact your TRS provider, and ask that they contact us at (866) 783-7996 or (401) 783-4613, for all of your reservation needs (vehicle and passenger).
Please note: Vessel schedules are subject to change without notice. Please call ahead to verify specific vessel departure times: (866) 783-7996 or (401) 783-4613.
Arriving at the Terminal
We recommend that you arrive at the terminal at least 30 minutes prior to your departure time. When you arrive at the terminal it is important to tell the booth attendant your accessibility requirements so they can stage your vehicle in the correct lane. When purchasing your ticket, advise the ticket agent of your requirements and they will verify that you have been properly staged for boarding. For walk on passengers, please inform the ticket agent of your requirements, and you will offered boarding assistance.
Boarding the Vessel
Upon boarding the vessel, notify the terminal employee or vessel crewmember collecting tickets of your accessibility requirements. This will assist them in choosing the most convenient location to park your vehicle. If you need any assistance during the trip, please notify a crewmember.
Vessel Safety Announcement
The following safety information is normally provided through the public address system at the beginning of each ferry crossing. It is provided here for the hearing impaired:
Welcome aboard the Block Island Ferry. Because sea conditions may be rough, we ask that passengers keep their movement throughout the vessel to a minimum. If you need assistance please contact one of our uniformed crewmembers. This thirteen mile trip will take approximately fifty five minutes, at a speed of 16.5 knots. Coast Guard regulations require that we inform you as to the locations of life preservers on the vessel. Life preservers, with posted instructions are located on all passenger decks, in lockers that are clearly marked. We ask that you do not open these lockers unless instructed to do so by the crew. For your safety and the security of the vessel, regulations require that passengers remain topside and off of the vehicle deck while the vessel is underway. Passengers are asked to keep carry on luggage with them at all times during the trip. We encourage you to report any suspicious activity to the nearest crewmember. Smoking is permitted on exterior decks only. For your safety, we request that all passengers use caution when opening exterior doors and remain clear of all stairways until the vessel is secured to the dock. We also ask that you keep your children from running, while the vessel is underway, and that you keep your pets leashed and off of the tables and seats. We hope that you have an enjoyable trip and thank you for sailing on the Block Island Ferry.
Availability of a Complaints Resolution Offical (CRO)
In any situation in which any person complains or raises a concern with an Interstate Navigation Company employee about discrimination, policies, or services with respect to passengers with a disability, and the employee does not immediately resolve the issue to the customer’s satisfaction or provide a requested accommodation, the customer has the right to contact Interstate Navigation Company’s Complaints Resolution Officer (“CRO”). The employee will provide the customer with the CRO’s name and phone number in a format the customer can use. The employee will also offer access to an Interstate Navigation Company phone for the purpose of contacting the CRO at no cost to the customer.
The CRO has the authority to resolve complaints on behalf of Interstate Navigation Company. The CRO is intended to be Interstate Navigation Company’s “expert” on compliance with accessibility Regulations and has the authority to overrule decisions made by other employees, except that the CRO may not countermand a decision by the master of a vessel with respect to safety matters.
Interstate Navigation Company has designated Christian Myers to be its CRO. Mr. Myers’ office is at the Point Judith ferry terminal, and his telephone number is (401) 783-4613, extension 193. If Mr. Myers does not answer the phone, the customer should leave a voicemail with a return phone number. If Mr. Myers does not promptly return the customer’s phone call, the customer should contact the alternate CRO. Interstate Navigation Company has designated William McCombe as alternate CRO. Mr. McCombe has an office at the Block Island ferry terminal and may be reached at (401) 466-8811.
Point Judith Ferry Terminal:
Interstate Navigation Company
304 Great Island Road
PO Box 3333
Narragansett, RI 02882
Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer