Nova Scotia

Marine Atlantic's new North Sydney terminal to open Wednesday

Marine Atlantic's new $20-million ferry terminal will open Wednesday in North Sydney, N.S., and local businesses hope it means passengers will spend more time in the area.

New building is twice the size of the old terminal and cost $20M

Marine Atlantic's new ferry terminal in North Sydney is double the size of its previous one. (Wendy Martin/CBC)

Marine Atlantic will officially open its new $20-million passenger terminal in North Sydney, N.S., on Wednesday.

It's twice the size of the old terminal and includes a number of new features, including a separate lounge for commercial truckers, complete with showers and a quiet area. There are bright, spacious seating areas and Wi-Fi throughout the building.

The new terminal cost $20 million. (Wendy Martin/CBC)

"From a customer perspective, it's modern. It has the amenities that our customers expect," said Paul Griffin, Marine Atlantic's CEO. "It's just a wonderful, wonderful day for Marine Atlantic."

The new terminal is also much closer to downtown North Sydney. Instead of dashing across a parking lot and through lines of tractor-trailers, people waiting to board the ferries are now just steps away from local shops and restaurants.

Local merchants had long complained that the thousands of people who travel on Marine Atlantic each year had little interaction with the community.

"People are looking to see what happens this summer, and hopefully we'll have a great weather summer," said Dan Bunbury with the Business Improvement and Development Association in North Sydney.

"There's a lot of buzz about it for sure."

The new terminal is just steps away from local shops and restaurants. (Wendy Martin/CBC)

The construction of the new terminal — and removal of the old one —  also frees up more space in Marine Atlantic's lot.

Officials hope that puts an end to long lines of trucks waiting alongside nearby highways when the company has to turn away commercial traffic during lengthy weather delays.

The company says it's working hard to improve the service, and says customer satisfaction rates have risen by 20 per cent, to 70 per cent, since 2010.


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