Edmonson residents petition for restoration of Green River Ferry’s original hours of operation

Why 4 hours of operation are still cut one year later

MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. – One year ago, Mammoth Cave National Park shortened its Green River Ferry’s hours of operations while looking to train a new ferry operator. The original 6 a.m. to 9:55 p.m. schedule narrowed, becoming 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fast forward one year later, and the ferry is still operating without the additional four hours. Some locals are expressing their frustrations.

“If you’re training hands or or whatever you’re doing, it seems like a year is long enough,” expressed Brownsville resident Nelson Sanders. “My community is important to me. I’ve lived here for 76 years. I was born there. All my life it’s been running till 9:55 p.m., and so that’s all we we’re asking. Just restore it back.

When the ferry is not operational, the roughly 17 mile preferred route roughly doubles when navigating through Munfordville and Brownsville.

Edmonson County Judge-Executive Scott Lindsey said, “We found that it not only cuts down on the tourism, we have churches in that area that meet at 7:00 p.m. They’ve seen their membership drop or visitation drop. A lot of people will not travel across the ferry anywhere close to those times because they know it’s going to close at 6:00 p.m., and they’re going to have to take about a 30 mile round trip to get back to where they started from.”

This week, Sanders presented a petition to the Edmonson County Fiscal Court, containing numerous signatures of community members who are urgently requesting the restoration of the original hours of operation.

“I truly thought we’d have maybe 250 petition signatures. [Monday] morning, when I received the rest of them we had about 750 or 760 and we’re still picking them up,” said Sanders.

Mammoth Cave National Park Services says they, too, want the Green River Ferry’s hours of operation to accommodate the community, However, turnover is delaying these restored hours.

“Our operators have to have special licenses and US Coast Guard certification to operate the vessel,” shared Executive Acting Public Information Officer Jessica Cooper. “We’re in the process of hiring ferry operators to fill those vacant positions. We’ve submitted the paperwork, but we do have to go through the federal government hiring process to bring someone on board and which can take some time.”