News: Ferry services on N.L. south coasts up for discussion

St. John's Telegram - Sept 24, 2015

Request for Expressions of Interest issued for potential operators

Several ferry runs around the province are open for re-imagining, under a call for expressions of interest issued by the provincial government.

The province is looking for a single, private contractor to take on the ferry services for over 34,000 passengers in total — for runs on the south coast of the island and the south coast of Labrador.

“The Department of Transportation and Works has already been in discussions with ferry users regarding options for a new service model managed by a single contractor, and will continue these discussions throughout this Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) process,” noted a statement issued today by the department.

Any contractor interested in taking on the job is being asked to consider how they would provide the needed vessels and other resources necessary.

In terms of the boats, the department is willing to consider proposals involving: new builds, purchased vessels, charter vessels and/or vessel sub-contracting.

Government will be reviewing what is put forward, then issuing a request for formal proposals.

The call specifically relates to the following ports:

• La Poile

• Grey River

• Francois

• McCallum

• Gaultois

• Rencontre East

• South East Bight

• Norman’s Bay

• William’s Harbour

Currently, the province has a LaPoile-Rose Blanche ferry run, with the MV Challenge One as the go-to vessel, according to the department’s website.

The Charlottetown-Norman's Bay-William's Harbour-Port Hope Simpson uses the 12-passenger MV Marine Eagle.

Gaultois-McCallum-Hermitage is serviced using the MV Terra Nova.

Runs of Ramea-Grey River-Burgeo (MV Gallipoli) and Francois-Grey River-Burgeo (MV Marine Voyager) are also serviced.

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