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RFPs issued for Yarmouth ferry economic impact study

By Evan Taylor Jul 4, 2023 | 2:40 PM

CAT ferry leaves Yarmouth for Bar Harbor, Maine on May 19, 2022 (Acadia News Photo)

The Nova Scotia Provincial Government has taken a significant step towards ensuring the economic viability of the ferry service between Nova Scotia and Maine by issuing a request for proposals (RFP) to conduct a comprehensive economic impact study. The study aims to determine the value and benefits the ferry service brings to Nova Scotian taxpayers.

Public Works Minister Kim Masland emphasized the importance of gathering detailed information to make informed decisions regarding the ferry service. Input was collected from various stakeholders, including municipalities, chambers of commerce, and the tourism industry, to ensure the study’s depth and accuracy.

This economic impact study is unprecedented in its scope, marking the first time such a comprehensive evaluation will be conducted. The data collection process will span two sailing seasons to account for potential fluctuations in passenger numbers. The Yarmouth ferry service resumed in 2022 after being halted for two consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The final report is anticipated to be available in late 2024, providing ample time for the government to review the findings before the current contract for the Yarmouth ferry expires at the end of the 2025 sailing season.

Some quick facts to consider are that the Province allocated $17.9 million to support the 2022 sailing season of the ferry service. In that year, the ferry transported 36,151 passengers and 14,972 vehicles. Despite weather-related cancellations affecting 12 round trips, the ferry successfully completed 113 round trips.

The economic impact study is poised to shed light on the ferry service’s performance and its contribution to Nova Scotia’s economy. By examining the value it brings to taxpayers and considering the input from various stakeholders, the government aims to make informed decisions regarding the long-term future of the Yarmouth ferry.

For more information about the study and the Yarmouth ferry service, interested parties can refer to the Provincial Government’s official communications.


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