BAR HARBOR — Bay Ferries, the company planning to provide ferry service between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, announced Friday the service will not be up and running by June 21, the first day the company had sold tickets for the route, because the terminal facility here will not be ready.
“The earliest date on which any service could commence is mid-summer,” a press release from the company said. All reservations for trips prior to July 7 will be cancelled, “re-routed” or rescheduled, according to the release.
The company had warned customers that this was a possibility. CEO Mark MacDonald told the Islander in March that Bay Ferries had “indicated to customers that it is possible [the June 21 date] could change.”
The company leases a portion of the property from the town. The terminal building that sat vacant since ferry service ended in 2009 has been gutted, and crews are rebuilding the interior. A new Customs Plaza, built to U.S. Customs and Boarder Patrol (CBP) standards, is going up.
Company representatives said those parts of the construction project at the ferry terminal site “are where delays have occurred.”
“All parties continue to work … to expedite the process and construction,” the press release said.
The company had been operating service between Portland and Yarmouth until last year, when its agreement with the city of Portland ended. “Remaining in Portland was not an option,” according to the release, “where a commitment was required to construct entirely new border facilities.”
Bay Ferries is returning to Bar Harbor after 10 years away. The company operated here between 1997 and 2009.
Last June, Bar Harbor voters authorized the purchase of the ferry terminal from the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) for $3.5 million. The town closed on the purchase of the property Jan. 31. Prior to that, in October, the Town Council approved the five-year lease agreement.