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Study Background

August 24th, 2012

The Owen Sound Transportation Company (OSTC) is one of Ontario’s largest ferry operators providing state-of-the art passenger, vehicle and cargo transportation services to northern and southwestern Ontario waterways. The organization provides safe, efficient and reliable transportation in the Province of Ontario primarily through the operation of M.S. Chi-Cheemaun, a passenger, vehicle and freight ferry, on the Tobermory to South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island route during the months of May through October. OSTC promotes and significantly contributes to economic development in this region by attracting tourists to this area that may not have visited this location if the ferry services were not available.

Travel and spending habits of tourists have changed radically with increases in fuel prices, increased density at the Canada/USA border, the increased value of the Canadian dollar, and the economic recession; all of which have negatively impacted the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin/Algoma districts, and the ferry service that joins the two regions. In order to respond to the immediate changing travel climate and prepare for the future, a thorough market assessment and marketing strategy for the ferry service, in partnership with the regions, must be undertaken, and the findings and recommendations implemented where it is appropriate to do so.

Given the falling traffic numbers, the question of market and marketing must be properly and professionally addressed. If the result of the investigation is that ferry traffic will not improve in the short to long term, even with researched and focused marketing and new marketing partnerships, the assessment is to provide the information necessary for the ferry service operator and owner to make appropriate decisions about the future direction of the ferry service, and its impact on the regions.

CPCS was retained to conduct this investigation. CPCS is a management consulting firm specializing in transportation sector strategy, economic analysis and policy. CPCS has brought together a multidisciplinary team of experts who are able to provide exceptional professional services on this study for the Owen Sound Transportation Company.

As part of this investigation, CPCS is committed to engage with local and regional stakeholders. These consultative and outreach efforts will ensure that the analysis is robust and reflect regional needs and realities.

This website objective is to support the study outreach efforts by providing an efficient way to disseminate information to the public and stakeholders, as well as a mean for stakeholders to provide feedback on the study preliminary findings.

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