Ferry traffic up 10 percent

OWEN SOUND—The Chi-Cheemaun is having a fantastic season so far in terms numbers of customers using the ferry service between South Baymouth and Tobermory.

“Traffic has been super so far,” stated Susan Schrempf, president and CEO of the Owen Sound Transportation Commission (OSTC), last Friday.

Ms. Schrempf explained, “as of last night (Thursday, July 28), compared to the same date as last year (2015), we are up in terms of traffic by 10 percent. If we keep the same numbers going in terms of traffic as we have until the end of the season, with no additional vehicles as there was at the same time last year, and in the first part of this season, we will see a five percent increase overall. If we keep gaining a few vehicles every day it would be an overall increase of between 5-10 percent for the season.”

“We ran more full trips on the ferry in July alone of this year than we did all last year,” said Ms. Schrempf, pointing out the middle sailings of the Chi-Cheemaun are “extremely popular this year.” She explained 42 percent of sailings in the middle of the schedule were full in July. Of this, 63 percent of the 11:20 am sailings out of Tobermory were full in July and 55 percent of the 1:30 pm sailings out of South Baymouth were full. And 35 percent of the 3:40 pm sailings out of Tobermory ran full in July.”

“I think one of the reasons for the increase in traffic this year is that we are seeing the second year of our extensive advertising-market campaign for the ferry service (throughout the Greater Toronto area) and around Ontario,” said Ms. Schrempf.

As well, “we’re still tweaking services we provide on the ship, and the renovations that have and are being carried out. For instance we are adding tray rails for customers to put their food purchases on as they go to the till in the dining area. The tray rails will be added in August. And by next year customers will be able to order their hot food, have a seat in the dining area, and have their food brought to them by an employee when it is ready,” explained Ms. Schrempf.