Nova Scotia premier disappointed by ferry passenger numbers, to review service

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HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s premier says he is disappointed with the latest passenger numbers for the provincially subsidized ferry between Yarmouth, N.S., and the state of Maine.

Tim Houston told reporters after a cabinet meeting that his government will let the current season finish in mid-October before it assesses the final passenger numbers and reviews the status of the ferry.

Public Works Minister Kim Masland says one option that could be considered is a termination of the contract with operator Bay Ferries, which currently runs until 2026.

The provincial operating subsidy for the current sailing season is $17 million.

On Tuesday, Bay Ferries said that as of Sept. 1 it had sold 35,056 passenger tickets and transported 28,349 passengers and 11,459 vehicles.

The company says its figures for July and August represented 80 per cent of all traffic since the ferry service resumed on May 19 following a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19 and the construction of a terminal in Bar Harbor, Maine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2022.

The Canadian Press