HALIFAX, NS — The company that provides ferry service between Yarmouth, NS and Portland, Maine, including commercial vehicle transport, says it needs three more years of taxpayer assistance before it can survive on its own but the provincial government may not be willing to wait that long.
According to Global News, Nova Star Cruises CEO Mark Amundsen told officials last week the goal is to have 80,000 passengers annually, but so far this year its running far short that goal, after hitting around 60,000 last year for the two year old service.
In its first season the ferry service received $28.5 million in provincial subsidies. Nova Scotia has committed $13 million for the service this year and so far has given out $9.6 million of that amount, according to the report.
While Amundsen didn’t say how much money Nova Star Cruises will need for 2016, he said the amount would be less.
Some provincial officials are calling for an end to the money the company is receiving to prop up its operations, others want to see it reduced while there are even calls to find another operator for the 2016 season.
In the meantime, Amundsen said Nova Star is looking at a long-term plan of switching to natural gas fuel to power the ferry in an effort to save money, along with increasing its marketing efforts aimed at the New England region of the U.S. to attract more business and even using the ferry for service between France and England in the Canadian off-season.
Read more about it from Globe News.
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