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October 19, 2004

Rochester-Toronto Ferry Bids Adieu

The Rochester-Toronto seems to have made another new speed record - this time for shorted operating time for a new ferry.

Courtesy of one of our readers, I recently found out that the Rochester-Toronto Ferry, which accounts for at least 50% of our google search hits, shut down in September due to serious financial troubles. It was not the most loved of projects, as evidenced by a recent article in the Syracuse Post-Standard, which begins:

There's a five-story-high floating monument to borrowed pork-barrel spending, and it sits on Rochester's shoreline of Lake Ontario.

Evidently, the ferry was paid for with major grants from and bonds covered by the state of New York. The ferry stopped running on September 8 with a debt of almost $1.7 million dollars. A judge then impounded the boat in late September due to unpaid fuel bills. However, a plan is in the works to get the boat back operational, as CATS, the organization that runs the ferry, has found new investors and is putting together a new operating plan.

Anyone want to make bets on how long before they abandon the whole project and move the $42.5 million ferry to a route that actually has passengers?

Post Author: amg | 08:16 AM | Link | TrackBacks
Comments

Rochester just needs to advertise that prostituion is legal in Toronto. "Toronto - What happens here,happens at a favorable exchange rate."

Posted by: tad at October 21, 2004 03:22 PM

Pfft. By all accounts ridership was far exceeding expectations. There were frequent reports of people being left behind due to sold out trips. But, nonetheless, it still managed to go belly up, showing that the service wasn't inherently viable (a fact that Toronto media and politicians seemed to realise, much to the disdain of the media and politicians of Rochester). So, as Rochester spent millions subsidising the ferry and building a new ferry terminal, Toronto threw up some portables and waited to see how things turned out before investing resources.

People in Toronto following the ferry issue predicted it would the venture would sink (heh heh) within a year. Imagine when it went down after three months.

Major impediments to the service included addition of repair and interest costs due to a crash of the ferry in New York during its trip toward Rochester as well as the inability for the ferry to carry freight. Though, even if these matters had been solved, viability is still questionable.

Any other questions I can help you with?

Posted by: Hans from Toronto at October 26, 2004 06:53 PM

Here we go again:
The ferry is starting again TODAY (June 30, 2005). Live coverage from the three Rocherster TV stations, zip from Toronto's.

If the new ferry company can make it work between Bar Harbour, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova-Scotia, surely they will be successful between Rochester and the Centre of the Known Universe (Toronto)!

Company web site:
http://www.nfl-bay.com/english/fast/

About the boat:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_of_Ontario_I

The Democrat and Chronicle has published enough articles on this thing to fill a book. Mark my words, this thing will be studied in academia. Check out the following link for a good summary:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050626/NEWS01/506260364&SearchID=7321277390982

Posted by: Roger Perrier at June 30, 2005 02:11 AM
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