Spring 2022 is expected to mark the return of the Cat ferry between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Bar Harbor, Maine according to a service update on the Bay Ferries website.
The high-speed ferry hasn't travelled since 2018, when it went from Nova Scotia to Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth mayor Pam Mood said the community is looking forward to having it back.
She said not having the service available is as if someone were to cut off access to highway 104.
"It's our tourism, it's second [economically] to the fishery," she said.
Three seasons lost
Since taking over the service in 2016, Bay Ferries has been plagued by challenges.
The ferry didn't run in the 2021 and 2020 seasons because of border restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2019 season was cancelled when the port of call in Maine was switched from Portland to Bar Harbor and things were not ready on the U.S. side to receive the ferry.
Despite the ferry remaining docked for the last three seasons, the Nova Scotia government has paid $1.17 million a year for the company to operate the ferry.
Mood said the town has been working to make sure its terminal will be ready once the ferry is ready to glide through the water again. She said its return will benefit the entire province.
"It means absolutely everything," she said. "The folks land here, but let's not forget, they don't stay in Yarmouth. They continue on all the way to Cape Breton and the rest of the Atlantic provinces."
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