- Associated Press - Saturday, May 2, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Nova Scotia officials are asking ferry operators around the world for advice on how to provide less costly ferry service between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Maine.

“We are going to engage with everyone we can who has the experience and investment level required to keep the service going,” said Geoff MacLellan, the Nova Scotia minister overseeing the service.

Nova Scotians are upset that Maine has not helped to subsidize the service, the Portland Press Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1zmPLKY ). The state recently allocated $640,000 to Portland for improvements to the ferry terminal.

The province also says it would consider switching the destination from Portland to Bar Harbor, Maine, if that’s more viable. MacLellan said he plans to visit Portland in June to see how committed the state is to supporting the ferry. He said he would seek input from Gov. Paul LePage and Portland Mayor Michael Brennan.

The Nova Scotia government originally committed to spend $21 million over seven years to re-establish the ferry service. But the ferry operator spent all of that, and another $7.5 million, in the first season.

The government has committed to spending another $13 million this season, of which $6.1 already has been spent. The service is scheduled to start up again on June 1.

Ferry operator, Nova Star Cruises, says bookings have increased from last year.

“Indications are that the market is picking up, and the business model is starting to succeed,” said MacLellan.


Information from: Portland Press Herald, https://www.pressherald.com

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