MP Bossio discusses the new ferry with Duncan Ashley, Loyalist Township Councillor for Amherst Island
The connection with Amherst Island is getting stronger, easier, and more reliable.
On Friday, Mike Bossio, the Member of Parliament for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, announced that the federal government will be contributing one-third of the funding needed for a new ferry for Amherst Island.
The design-build will cost $94.7 million, which also includes a new ferry for Wolfe Island in nearby Kingston. The federal government will contribute 33% of the funding for the total project cost, up to a maximum contribution of $31.3 million through their New Building Canada Fund. The Province of Ontario will fund the remaining 67%.
“A new ferry for Amherst Island is going to do a lot of good,” said Bossio. “It’s going to extend the life of the existing vessel for use as a backup, while the new ferry will improve capacity, efficiency, mobility, and provide environmental benefits such as air quality improvement.”
The new ferry vessel for the Amherst Island Ferry Service, operated by Loyalist Township, will have a capacity of up to 300 people and 40 vehicles. The existing 35 vehicle capacity ferry will become a backup vessel for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation Eastern Region ferry fleet.
“We thank the federal and provincial governments for making this investment in Loyalist Township,” said Loyalist Township Mayor Bill Lowry. “The new ferry will improve service between Stella and Millhaven for many years to come, and we look forward to seeing it in service.”
The higher capacity of the new ferry will reduce the annual number of vehicles that are left to wait at the dock during crossings from the current average of 1,057 to 528 vehicles left on dock per year.
“The new vessels will incorporate green technologies, provide enhanced accessibility to meet the needs of all users, as well as improved amenities such as bike racks and storage to support and promote active transportation options,” added Bossio. “The Ministry is also looking for opportunities to add hybrid electric features for use when the ferries first go into service, and the engines will operate on ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel, which means a lower environmental impact than regular marine diesel oil.”
The Amherst Island ferry is expected to be delivered in December 2019.
- Damen Shipyards was awarded the contract, valued at over $61,000,000.
- Ferries transport approximately 850,000 passengers and 420,000 vehicles between Wolfe Island and Kingston each year, and approximately 290,000 passengers and 136,000 vehicles to and from Amherst Island annually.
- The Amherst Island Ferry is owned by the Ministry of Transportation and operated by Loyalist Township. It makes 20 trips per day between Millhaven on the mainland and Stella on the island.
- The Wolfe Islander III is owned and operated by the Ministry of Transportation. It makes 19 trips per day between the mainland in downtown Kingston and Wolfe Island.