2005-05-20 / News

Midnight Express: Late Night Boat Transport Provides Public Service

Run Adds Another Option for Those Who Miss Last Ferry
By Jessica Delaney

Mackinac Island police officer George Tiernan will operate a late night boat service, Midnight Express, with his partner, Jeff Sword.
Mackinac Island police officer George Tiernan will operate a late night boat service, Midnight Express, with his partner, Jeff Sword.

  • Since Monday, May 16, tourists and Islanders alike are able to claim a new level of independence from ferry schedules. Police officer George “Bud” Tiernan and marine deputy Jeff Sword are offering a late night boat service, called the Midnight Express, for people who miss the last ferry and are trapped either on or off the Island.
  • Mr. Tiernan, who was a Michigan State Police trooper for 32 years and is currently a Mackinac Island police officer, said that he got the idea for the boat service through his work with the police.

    “Last year I worked the night shift and often had people missing the last boat,” he said. “We’d try to set them up with somewhere to stay, but often it was really booked up.”

    In the past, there were only two options for people missing the last ferry: spend the night on the Island or charter a plane at the airport. Similarly, people can be stranded on the mainland without a way to reach the Island. Mr. Tiernan’s new boat service will provide these people with a third alternative.

    Mr. Tiernan’s boat is a 2-2 foot Wellcraft with a 350 Chevy engine. He expects that it will prove powerful enough to handle most of the lake weather. In situations of extreme weather, however, the Midnight Express will not run.

    The late night boat service will operate not only for those who just missed the last ferry, but also for people who need to leave the Island for family-related emergencies or for situations where people need medical attention outside of that offered on the Island.

    As this is a new service, Mr. Tiernan has not yet decided what to charge. The Midnight Express will begin as a tip-only service until a specific fee is decided upon. Either Mr. Tiernan or Mr. Sword will be on-call at night to provide service.

    Mr. Tiernan has a permanent slip in the St. Ignace dock, as well as permission to use two slips on the Island, or marina slips when they are open. To contact the Midnight Express, call Mr. Tiernan’s cell phone number, (906) 430-0351.

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