OWEN SOUND – Spurred by a fantastic month of August, the Chi-Cheemaun ferry service made a huge comeback in terms of traffic numbers for the overall sailing season.
“We had a super August,” stated Susan Schrempf, CEO and president of Owen Sound Transportation Company (OSTC) on Tuesday.
“The good news is that our August traffic on the Chi-Cheemaun was the best it has been in the past eight years,” said Ms. Schrempf.
She explained, “at the end of July we were down a little over four percent in terms of traffic numbers, but as of September 2, we are down .64 percent—less than one percent (on the season). This means we are 411 vehicles behind what we were at this point last year (2018).”
“The bad news is that we are still below the traffic numbers from last year at this point,” continued Ms. Schrempf. “We had budgeted for a two percent increase in traffic over last year and are 1.43 percent behind 2017 (which was a better year comparably than 2018).”
“But, we’re coming back (in traffic numbers),” said Ms. Schrempf, who pointed out “in the fall we are very weather dependent, so we’ll see how things go. Last year the Agawa Canyon tour was washed out and they help boost our traffic, so we’re hoping they have a good fall as well.”
As was reported previously this summer, one of the reasons for the decrease in traffic overall was a cold wet spring that continued into the summer. “The Chi-Cheemaun was down seven percent in traffic numbers on June 1 and as of June 16 we were down 7.8 percent in traffic numbers,” said Ms. Schrempf.