News Release Archive

After an extensive review of provincial ferry service operations,
the Department of Transportation and Public Works has adopted a
series of recommendations "that will protect the long-term
sustainability of ferry services, while respecting community
support for 24 hour service," said Transportation and Public
Works Minister Richie Mann.

"I'm confident that our decisions are in keeping with
recommendations brought forward by several joint committees
involving community representatives and department staff," Mr.
Mann said.

The changes, effective July 15, 1996, include: an increase in
cable ferry fares to 75 cents for ticket holders and $1.75 for
cash fares. The new fares will apply to ferry services in LaHave,
Country Harbour, Englishtown and Little Narrows. Fares, which had
remained the same for decades, were 20 cents for ticket holders
and 50 cents for cash fares at LaHave, Country Harbour and
Englishtown and 10 cents for ticket holders and 25 cents for cash
fares at Little Narrows.

While some committees had recommended higher cable ferry rates,
the department prefers to strike a balance between proposed rates
and to apply the new rate consistently across the province, the
minister said.

Also effective July 15, the Tancook Island passenger ferry
service will increase to $2 (round trip) for ticket holders and
$5 (round trip) for cash fares. The rate takes into account that
no charges are placed on transporting goods and services to
island residents. Previous to these changes, the department
charged $1 (round trip).

As well, there will be an increase in the Petite and Grand
Passage ferry service to 50 cents for ticket holders and $1 for
cash fares. Previous fares were 20 cents for ticket holders and
50 cents for cash fares. Trucks and buses will be subject to
higher rates ranging from $5 on cable ferry services to $3 at
Grand and Petite Passage. However, the department will negotiate
annual rates for businesses that use the ferry services
regularly. Special rates will also be negotiated with school
boards that rely on ferry services. In addition, annual passes,
at a cost of $250, will also be available to frequent commuters.

It was also announced that 24-hour service will be maintained in
all ferry service operations, with more frequent crossings at
LaHave and Country Harbour during peak travel periods. The
increased service will be provided as long as there is a
sufficient volume of traffic.

Mr. Mann also said that the department will conduct an internal
analysis to determine the feasibility of a public-private
partnership to build a fixed crossing at Englishtown, and, this
year, the department will also pave approximately four kilometres
of Portage Road, which is the alternate route for Little Narrows
ferry users.

As part of the review, the minister said the department will
consider selling one of two spare ferries in Digby Neck for a
one-time capital savings, which would enable the department to
further reduce operating expenditures for ferry services.

The Department of Transportation and Public Works began working
with community groups after public meetings were held to discuss
ways to reduce an annual operating cost of over $4 million for
ferry services. Changes to fare structures will reduce the
operating cost of ferry service by an estimated $680,000 this
fiscal year.

"The effort these community representatives gave to this review
is evident in the high quality of the four separate reports the
department received. We will continue to work closely with
community representatives to identify other ways to promote
service and generate revenues thereby protecting ferry services
in the future," Mr. Mann said.


Contact: Public Affairs and Communications  902-424-8687

trp                June 11, 1996 - 12:00 p.m.