The company that operates the Nova Star ferry saw a 26 percent increase in ridership this June over the same month last year.

Nova Star Cruises reported on its website that it carried 8,530 passengers in June compared with 6,768 in June 2014.

The company said it’s on track to meet its goal of 80,000 passengers for the 2015 season.

Last year in its inaugural season, the company projected it would carry 100,000 passengers, but carried only 59,000.

The company, which operates a daily ferry between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, has a one-year contract from the Nova Scotia government to operate the service. Nova Scotia officials plan to decide this summer whether to award the company a contract for the 2016 season or look for other operators.

The province spent $28.5 million (Canadian) for the service in its inaugural season. Included was a $21 million loan that was intended to last seven years.

This year, the government limited the subsidy to $13 million, equal to $10.4 million (U.S.) at current exchange rates.

Last week, a delegation from the province came to Maine to discuss ways Maine can support the service. Later this year, a contingent of Maine officials is expected to travel to Nova Scotia and continue the discussion.


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