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New ferry for Amherst Island is good news for County

A new ferry announced for Amherst Island is expected to fix the problem of loss of ferry services for Prince Edward County.

The $20 million investment by the Ontario government was announced Wednesday by Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation. It gives Amherst Island a 40-car ferry that could be built by 2019, but will also make commuting easier for the region – including to and from Prince Edward County and Adolphustown.

Once the new vessel is complete, the existing ferry, the Frontenac II, will become the back-up ferry and will also provide support in the event there is an extended unplanned service outage that affects access to Wolfe or Amherst islands.

Public upset was strong last year with the Wolfe Islander III was out of service for refit and maintenance for seven months, which trickled down to the Glenora ferry being used at Amherst as backup, bringing the County’s service in the busy season to just one vessel and cancelling 15-minute service.

PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff thanked crews at Glenora last summer for taking the brunt of complaints and making the best of the poor situation.

“Now, when something breaks down our ferries remain here, unless however both Wolfe Island and Amherst went down together,” said Quaiff. “This is a good news story and shows a commitment by Minister Del Duca to invest in this region.”

Approximately 130,000 vehicles travel to and from Amherst Island annually. The Glenora Ferry handles about 25-35,000 a month in May and June, rising to an average of 40,000 vehicles in July and August.

Filed Under: Local News

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