YARMOUTH, NS — The Nova Star, a ferry that sails the recently revived route between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Portland, Maine, is gaining traction with Nova Scotia truck drivers and carriers.
“It saves a lot of wear and tear on your vehicles and on your drivers,” Stephanie Huskins, whose husband runs Huskins & Sons Trucking, told the Chronicle Herald.
The ferry docks in Yarmouth every morning at 8 a.m. after a 10-hour night crossing from Portland and can hold over 300 vehicles and over 1200 passengers.
“It gets the truck into Yarmouth at eight o’clock in the morning. That’s a good thing, because the same truck can be used again later that day—you could pretty well get loaded again and catch the Digby ferry in the afternoon,” Huskins said.
Huskins has started using the ferry service more frequently since its maiden voyage on May 16. The first two vehicles to roll off the Nova Star on May 16 were a transport truck and RV.
A one-way trip on the Nova Star costs a few hundred dollars, which includes fees for a 20-meter tractor-trailer and driver, a cabin for the driver and port charges.
What makes the ferry service enticing is that drivers can get their mandatory 10 hours of rest without stopping the movement of cargo.
“You can only drive X amount of hours and then you have to rest,” Huskins continued. “Getting a cabin is important; drivers are fresh and alert the next morning. (We) think the ship will see an increase in truck traffic in both directions.”
Brian Reynolds of B. Reynolds Trucking Ltd echoed Huskins’ positive review, saying that he and his drivers use the ferry whenever they can.
“We use it for convenience,” Reynolds said. “Especially coming out of Portland back to Yarmouth because it gets us home quicker. It gives the driver 10 hours off, that’s the reason for being on that ferry. If I need the truck the next day, it’s empty in the morning and ready to go back on another trip.”
Nova Star Cruises spokesperson Dennis Bailey said they want to up commercial truck traffic on the ferry, which has two decks with a height clearance of nearly 15 feet (4.5 meters), providing ample capacity to transport tractor-trailers or other large vehicles.
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