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Ferry service expands for isolated Point Roberts residents

The first passenger-only ferry between Point Roberts and Blaine filled up quickly on Aug. 25 and now the route has expanded.

Residents of Point Roberts, Washington are finally getting some relief in the form of a passenger ferry to the Whatcom County mainland. 

An emergency ferry route was arranged to help the town's residents who have been stuck in Point Roberts since the U.S.-Canada border closed in March.

The ferry was initially scheduled for every Tuesday, between Point Roberts and Blaine. But due to high demand, the Port of Bellingham expanded service to twice a week. The Bellingham Herald reports the port extended the ferry's destination to the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven, rather than to the Blaine marina.

Point Roberts is a tiny piece of land that hangs below the 49th parallel. It is surrounded by water on three sides and shares its northern border with Canada, but the town is actually part of Whatcom County. 

Normally, residents can drive about 25 miles through British Columbia to get back into the U.S. But when international travel was suspended this year, the town's 1,300 residents were effectively stuck on their 4.8 square-miles of land. 

There is no regular ferry or air service out of Point Roberts. Until the coronavirus pandemic. 

Credit: KING

The Port of Bellingham arranged an emergency ferry to run between Point Roberts and Blaine "to access critical goods and services." The passenger-only ferry is free, but reservations are required. 

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