Ferry service set to resume May 1 with public health measures in place
Officials hoping for more passengers as COVID-19 restrictions start to ease
The ferry service between Wood Islands, P.E.I., and Caribou, N.S., resumes May 1 and officials are hoping for an increase in passengers over last year.
Don Cormier, vice-president of operations and safety management with Northumberland Ferries Ltd., says planning remains a challenge with the continuing uncertainty due to COVID-19.
At this point, about 100 staff members will be brought on to facilitate crossings, he said.
Public health measures, such as reduced capacity and mandatory masks on board, will remain in place.
Cormier says he's optimistic that passenger numbers will increase this year, but until traffic opens up beyond Atlantic Canada, he doesn't expect a substantial bump.
"Last year, we operated at basically 40 per cent of the traffic that we would have otherwise had. So we don't anticipate a huge increase. But, you know, it would be great if we got to 50, 60 per cent of our normal traffic."
The two ferries are currently undergoing their annual refit.
One of the two, the MV Holiday Island, won't be running this spring because it's scheduled to go to dry dock this year as part of regular maintenance.
The boat will be towed to the Gaspé Peninsula, removed from the water, and have all of its underwater components inspected.
It's scheduled to return in June.
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With files from Jessica Doria-Brown