Portland City council has approved the Yarmouth ferry terminal lease with Bay Ferries ltd. The Cat (above) that will replace the unsuccessful Nova Star was built in 2007 and is being chartered from the united States Navy.
Bay Ferries will receive $32.7 million in subsidies over the next 2 years from Nova Scotia. The ferry service will resume between Yarmouth and Maine on 15th June. under the terms of the proposed lease, the City of Portland is offering the space to Bay Ferries for two seasons “with an option to renew for one additional year at the City’s sole discretion.” The lease agreement gives Bay Ferries exclusive use of a terminal, which will house the ticket office and the company’s office. it will also give Bay Ferries “non-exclusive” use of the ferry docking area, marshalling areas and other physical infrastructure required for The Cat to tie up. Bay Ferries can terminate the lease after one year. Because the vessel is US flagged and must remain so during the charter, US law requires that a US crew is used. Seaward Services inc. a US company, will provide on-board crewing and custodial care for the ship for the US Military Sealift Command for the term of the agreement. Because the vessel will be overnighting in Nova Scotia, fuel and most supplies will be purchased in Nova Scotia and vessel maintenance will be undertaken by a Canadian crew based in Nova Scotia. The Austal built craft has capacity for 700 passengers (approved capacity was 866 during her previous service). vehicle capacity will be in excess of 200 regular passenger vehicles. Bay Ferries last operated a highspeed service on this route in 2008