© 2021 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Bar Harbor to Vote on Bay Ferry Proposal

BAR HARBOR, Maine- The town council of Bar Harbor is set to vote Tuesday on a lease proposal which would allow ferry service between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to resume.

Bay Ferries Limited, which currently runs its catamaran ferry, the CAT, between Nova Scotia and Portland is looking to move its Maine base back to where it was prior to 2009, and has proposed a $1 million, five-year lease to use the terminal.

This year, ridership on the ferry between Portland and Nova Scotia exceeded last year's total by more than 20%. Bay Ferries ended its seasonal sailings on October 8th, carrying a total 50,185 passengers. 

Last year, the ferry carried just 41,623 passengers, a number which reflects the mechanical troubles that slowed and even stopped some of the crossings.

But in a recent news release, Bay Ferries said that the increasing price of fuel over the 2018 season poses a challenge for the company, and is a factor in its desire to move its Maine dock to Bar Harbor, which is signifcantly closer to Nova Scotia than Portland.

As part of the deal, Bar Harbor is being offered $4 million to upgrade its ferry terminal, an amount which will likely be covered by a provincial appropriation.

If the agreement is approved by the Bar Harbor council on Tuesday, Bay Ferries would pay an annual rent of about $200,000.

The lease would take effect in December, with sailings to commence in June 2019.