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N.L. government looking for ferry savings on south coast

The MV Challenge One, which recently returned from refit, has been tied up dockside near Rose Blanche due to engine trouble.
The MV Challenge One services the community of La Poile on the province's south coast. - The Gulf News


The provincial government is looking for a more cost-effective and efficient manner of providing ferry services to residents of seven small communities on Newfoundland’s south coast.

A request for proposals (RFP) has been issued seeking marine service providers to manage and provide passenger and freight services to the region, according to a news release Thursday from the Department of Transportation and Works.


Government is asking proponents to come up with their own service model and/or propose innovative solutions to serve approximately 720 residents in the communities - La Poile, Francois, Grey River, Gaultois, McCallum, Rencontre East and South East Bight.

“Given the fiscal challenges facing the province, government has an obligation to explore ways to deliver services in a cost-effective manner,” Transportation and Works Minister Steve Crocker said.

“This request for proposals is a step forward towards finding a way to provide marine services to residents in these communities that is fiscally responsible for all taxpayers of the province.”

The ferries currently providing services to the seven communities carry some 35,000 passengers annually.

The department says proposals will be evaluated based on best overall value while providing at least one trip to and from each community daily.

The deadline for submissions is Jan. 19, 2018. A contract is expected to be awarded soon after with service to start on April 1, 2018.


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