HALIFAX - An independent panel says establishing a viable ferry service between Nova Scotia and Maine would require an initial $35 million in public funds and a significant boost in passenger traffic.
But the panel also says there's no guarantee that the resumption of the service would attract American tourists, whose presence in Yarmouth had been in decline long before the ferry stopped running in 2009.
The panel, appointed in April, does not make a recommendation on whether the provincial government should re-establish the service.
The high-speed ferry link between Yarmouth and Maine was discontinued after the Nova Scotia government cancelled an annual $6-million subsidy for Bay Ferries Ltd.
The report says the ferry carried 75,000 passengers in its last year of service, down from 165,000 in 2002.
It says more than 135,000 passengers would be needed annually to make a new service commercially viable.