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CAT Ferry passenger numbers increase in 2023: Bay Ferries Ltd.

The number of passengers taking the ferry running between Yarmouth, N.S. and Bar Harbor, Maine is up from last year.

The latest figures from Bay Ferries Ltd. show 1,990 more people booked a spot on the high-speed CAT this season over 2022.

According to a news release from the company, as of September 11, Bay Ferries Ltd. has sold 38,655 tickets to passengers who will travel during the 2023 operating season, which finishes up at the end of October.

In terms of actual traffic, the release went on to say 33,520 passengers and 13,178 vehicles have taken the ferry since Sept. 11.

According to Bay Ferries, U.S. residents travelling to Canada by vehicle, which is tracked monthly by Statistics Canada, remains about 20 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

The ferry is expected to operate five days a week until Oct. 9.


These numbers come as the Nova Scotia government announced it has awarded a $180,000 contract to 21FSP Consulting to look at the long-term viability of the service.

"We are grateful to all of the bidders that delivered submissions for this important project," said Public Works Minister Kim Masland in a release Wednesday. "This level of detail has never been gathered before on this service, and it will help us determine if the service is providing good value to Nova Scotian taxpayers."

The study will look at data over two sailing seasons to account for potential fluctuations in passenger numbers.

The ferry service resumed last year after not operating in 2020 or 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A final report on the broad economic impacts of the Nova Scotia and Maine service is expected in the fall 2024.

The current CAT contract with Bay Ferries Ltd. ends after the 2025 sailing season.


During the 2022 season, the service received $17.6 million from Nova Scotia.

In that year, the ferry transported 36,151 passengers and 14,972 vehicles.

So far this year, the CAT completed 82 round trips with 11 round trip cancellations due to weather.

In 2022, the ferry made 113 round trips last year, and 12 round trips were cancelled because of weather.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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