Rochester - T.O. Ferry update

Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle has a cool update on the CATS ferry, which has been bought by the City of Rochester and should be up and running again by this summer. Last year, Toronto didn't really seem to give a shit; its terminal building consisted of a few trailers, there was little publicity; most of which trashed Rochester. It seems that everyone involved has learned some valuable lessons from the CATS' original and short-lived demise.
"As opposed to last year, when the launch of the international service piqued little interest in Canada, the atmosphere surrounding the ferry this year is markedly attentive... ...A joint Rochester-Toronto task force was formed to make sure the mistakes of the past weren't repeated. For example, the task force — comprising representatives from Rochester, Toronto, Toronto Port Authority and the province of Ontario — has focused on issues such as Canadian customs and publicity for the ferry. The task force has also reached out to Tourism Toronto and the Greater Rochester Visitors Association. Officials declined to provide details about upcoming marketing campaigns, but said the strategies would be announced soon. Rochester also has benefited because CATS — which engaged in some tough negotiating in its effort to make a profit — is out of the way. "I am not saying that CATS was necessarily wrong in their stance, but as private sector people, they had little patience for the style and pace of governmental deliberations," Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. said. "The city was able to capitalize on that frustration, and immediately establish good working relations with all of the key government players." Another major advantage in the eyes of Canadian leaders was the hiring of Bay Ferries Ltd., an experienced Canadian company that runs three ferries in eastern Canada and Maine. CATS had no experience operating a vessel. "The hiring of Bay Ferries was the single most important thing they could do for the stabilization of the service," said Lisa Raitt, president and chief executive of the Toronto Port Authority. "This is a company that has a track record."

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