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Fuel costs increase subsidy for Nova Scotia to Maine ferry by $1.5 million

Nova Scotia is boosting this year's subsidy for the privately run ferry linking Yarmouth and Portland, Maine

HALIFAX — The operators of the high speed ferry linking Yarmouth, N.S., and Portland, Maine, are getting a boost to their 2018 subsidy.

Provincial Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines said Wednesday Bay Ferries Limited will get another $1.5 million, for a total of $10.9 million.

Hines blamed projected fuel cost hikes for the CAT high speed ferry.

"It's a high volume, high velocity vessel that consumes fuel at similar rates — high velocity," said Hines.

Last year's operating subsidy was $9.4 million, not counting an additional $4.3 million that was spent prior to the current season for an engine overhaul.

Engine troubles hampered Bay Ferries' operations last year, allowing only 84 of 112 scheduled round trips.

The CAT's starboard outer main engine failed last June.

As a result, Bay Ferries said it carried 41,623 passengers in 2017, an increase over it's initial season in 2016, when it carried 35,551 passengers.

The company has a 10-year deal with the province and received a subsidy of $32.7 million in its first two years. That included $13.1 million towards the operation's startup.

The ferry service resumed last week for its third season, which is scheduled to run until Oct. 8.

The Canadian Press

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