The Cat ferry service between Nova Scotia and Bar Harbor may miss its passenger target for the 2022 season.
In this April 30, 2002, file photo, a pilot boat follows The Cat as it approaches the Ferry Terminal in Bar Harbor. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Slightly more than 36,000 people and nearly 15,000 vehicles used the CAT to travel from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, during the first summer back from a three-year hiatus.

Bay Ferries Limited, which operates the service, said it lost about 2,000 passengers due to Hurricane Fiona.

Traffic overall this season was down 35 percent compared with three years ago. And ridership fell short of Bay Ferries’ projections from earlier this year, when the company   said some 41,000 people would use the service by the end of the season.

US travelers accounted for some 75 percent of all ferry passengers.

“We are pleased with the performance of the ferry service in the 2022 operating season, particularly given the very challenging US market factors, the three-year service hiatus and the change in US port to Bar Harbor,” Mark Wilson, senior vice president of Bay Ferries Limited, said in a statement.

Nova Scotia officials have ordered an economic impact study on the CAT ferry, which is subsidized by taxpayers in the province. But officials have said the service is expected to return next year.

This story appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.