GRAND BAY-WESTFIELD (GNB) - The provincial government is adding a new ferry to its fleet.

“As a government, we recognize and appreciate that river ferries are an integral part of our transportation network on the St. John and Kennebecasis Rivers,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser at an event in Grand Bay-Westfield today. “The addition of a new ferry to our fleet demonstrates their importance as we strive to provide the best transportation experience in the most efficient manner.”

In 2015, the Kennebecasis Island ferry was deemed unseaworthy and removed from service. Since then, service has been provided by a rental vessel at a cost of $750,000 annually. The new ferry will eliminate the need for a rental vessel.

The new vessel will not necessarily be used in Kennebecasis, which is a relatively low volume run. Instead, it will be added to the provincial fleet and deployed where it will get the most use.

“Over the years, it has been challenging to keep up the maintenance of our aging river ferry fleet,” said Fraser. “A new ferry will reinvigorate the fleet by taking the pressure off some of our other vessels.”

Strategic investments in transportation infrastructure are a key element of the Economic Growth Plan, the government’s framework for growing the economy and creating jobs.