Scott: Millenium Ferry Costs Way Over Budget

November 5, 2013

Shadow Transport Minister Lawrence Scott said the cost of renting the ferry boat Millennium is running around four times over the stated budget, a claim which the Ministry has denied.

The Shadow Minster said when details of the Millennium contract were revealed earlier this year he said: “It can be seen that over the past five months the Minister’s management style has resulted in a hefty price tag that is in the millions…and appears to become more costly with each decision he makes.”

Mr Scott said, “Unfortunately my observation at the time has proven to be prophetic.

“It has been reliably reported to me that costly overtime maintenance has been required to keep the Millennium running, and the Marine & Ports budget has been used to pay for the housing and furnishing of the properties that have been leased/rented for foreign Millennium workers.”

He also said that while the Minister stated that the budget would be $1.2 million, “reports emanating from reliable sources declare that the actual amount being spent is approximately $5.5 million [4 times the government estimate] after you factor in the cost of fuel, staffing, housing allowance, airfare [every two weeks/the rotation of Millennium crew] and the two new engines recently landed in Bermuda-which can only fit the Millennium.”

In response, the Transport Ministry said, “The 1.2M is the basic charter fee that was previously announced in the House of assembly. We always knew there would be additional costs for fuel and other supplementary expenses such as accommodation for the crew.

“The $5.5M figure is simply a fabrication. A comprehensive outline of costs and ridership totals will be communicated to the public once the season ended and the Millennium has departed. T he two new engines being referred to are intended for the local fast ferries.”

Rhode Island Fast Ferry Millennium, St George's Bermuda May 21 2013-5

Mr Scott also said there appears to be “questionable practices in the scheduling and management of the Millennium by the Minster and those providing managerial oversight of the charter ferry.”

He said a policy limits the operating hours of the charter ferry and creates a schedule that has the Millennium traveling from Dockyard to St Georges with significant passenger loads, and then returning to the Dockyard either empty or only a few passengers on board.

Mr Scott said this results in other ferries “being taken off the Hamilton evening schedule to compensate and transport excess passengers stranded in St Georges as a result of the lack of carrying capacity from St Georges.”

“At the end of day, the Marine & Ports fleet has had to assist when its purpose is to assist our fleet,” said Mr Scott.

He went on to say that the running schedule for St George’s has been reduced from six trips per day last year, down to either three or four trips per day as a consequence of the limits placed upon the use of the Millennium.

Responding to Mr Scott’s comments, the Transport Ministry said: “With Dockyard being the cruise ship hub, clearly this is where the most passengers originate from at the beginning of the day and where they ultimately return through the course of the afternoon.

“The practice of having to ‘dead head’ or operate a vessel with low capacity on return trips is typical of any passenger ferry, train or bus service worldwide offering a scheduled service between points.  As such it is only natural in Bermuda that the west to east demand would occur in the morning and east to west passenger loads would be higher in the afternoon. ”

Calling it a “series of contradictions and questionable decisions”, Mr Scott also said that while government stated the Millennium has transported 94,000 persons this — mathematically– “represents an impossible aggregation.”

“To accomplish such a feat the charter ferry would have had to have traveled full every day for 133 days,” said Mr Scott.

Responding to that comment, the Transport Ministry said, “As of the first week of September it had been reported to the House that 94,758 passengers had been carried between Dockyard and St. Georges; while the final total for the entire season is a preliminary total of 125,406 passengers.

“Ultimately this final figure was negatively impacted by the cancellation of six scheduled voyages by the Grandeur of the Seas due to fire damage repairs,” the Ministry said.

Mr Scott said that to improve matters there needs to be “greater accountability” for decisions taken at the management level, and more consultation with the scheduling and maintenance decisions.

The Shadow Minster also suggested that it “might prove to be prudent to utilize the light winter season to schedule a bare minimum of equipment between Nov and April to permit an active corrective and preventive maintenance program so that the entire fleet is ready and able to handle the peak traffic loads of the season ahead.”

“This will have the ultimate effect of streamlining and making the Marine & Ports Department more efficient and cost effective,” said Mr Scott.

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Comments (41)

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  1. Soooooo says:

    “It has been reliably reported to me that costly overtime maintenance has been required to keep the Millennium running”

    What a load of hogwash!!!

    The Millennium had a single engineer (as part of it’s crew) This person completed all maintenance during the ferry’s down time and was also on board during trips. During the time the Millennium was in Bermuda she missed 2 days of service both due to weather!!

    and furnishing of the properties that have been leased/rented for foreign Millennium workers.”

    The 2 foreign members of the Millennium crew stayed in Government owned property within Dockyard…

    Actually the ferry can carry 400 people, so at 4 trips a day it would take 63 days to amass a total of 94000 passengers.

    maybe the shadow minister should start thinking before he opens his pie hole!!

    • Soooooo says:

      But regardless.. The Millennium went into service in Bermuda on May 27th and will be finishing this week… approx. 160 days assuming they had days off when there were no ships in this still
      surpasses the 133 stated by the minster.

      • Suzie Quattro says:

        So your complaint is that the ferry was more useful than originally thought?

        • Soooooo says:

          I’m not complaining at all… I think the success of the Millennium is very evident by the lack of complaints seen in the media (local and overseas) about the poor running of transport in dockyard.

    • Tolerate says:

      Damn, what do you have to do to become totally unreliable and a laughing stock? This same Shadow Minister is the one who publicly criticized the government for bring in the Fast Ferry to only have to back track when informed it was HIS parties idea (and a good one in hind sight at that).
      “It has been reliably reported to me”????? Shut the hell up because for the “BRIGHTEST WE HAVE” as LF, BT and company has said numerous times; only shows he is a rookie out his league and childish. All the Shadow has to do is ask for the reports (which should be made public once the ferry has completed business here), and review the number. Than make your comments or air concerns on behalf of the people. Remember you’re the OPPOSITION, not the gossip rag.
      NO, he goes off hear say and makes himself look like an A** again. This is why I struggle to listen to much of anything the PLP say. I heard a comment recently that said the PLP is the OBA secret weapon (them and there bloggers). I’m beginning to believe this.
      And @maddog, your another irresponsible @$$. Really, you’re not even on topic. I swear you only help people to choose between the two parties in the OBA favor. As a past PLP voter, idiots like you make it hard to follow a party with such morons for vocal followers.

    • InsideTrack says:

      I agree. Mr. Scott, who in the world is your informative? Fire them and do your own proper homework before you speak. Please tell me that you’re better than this. If it serves me correct, we had serious issues with the fast ferries under the PLP leadership and now you have advise for the way forward. Are you suggesting that fuel would have been free if the Gov ferries were used on the St. George’s route? The fact is that the PLP purchased too much advance equipment in its new fleet of ferris that the staff wasn’t prepared for. By the way, unemployed local crew were hired for the summer, think you can say something positive about that? Oh I forgot, politics don’t work like that. What did you expect for the Gov do regarding housing of our overseas workers? Set up tents? I would like think that you’re not this ignorant. You talk about 5+mil for service. Provide your own breakdown of cost! Or are you the type of guy that shoots from the hip? Did your informer work that out for you? God help us!

  2. Maddog says:

    Oba member Minster Crockwell was jailed in 1996 after stealing $600,000 worth of heroin from a court safe while working as a Supreme Court clerk.


    HE DOES NOT CARE!!!!!!

    • Soooooo says:

      How about commenting on the article…

    • Maddog, what in the world does this statement of yours have to do with the subject of the ferry. sounds like you are just a nasty person.

    • Grand Wizzard says:

      I am for OBA, but I agree with you on that Maddog. That is snake business. But guess what?

      PLP and OBA are the SAME entity, just with two faces.

      both sides of the chessboard working together while pretending to be opposites……..

      such schemery is used globally by fra………

    • InsideTrack says:

      He must have changed enough to win his seat. Careful, you may see dust in his eye but a plank may be in yours.

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    Don’t go anywhere Maddog, a lawyer lawyer should be calling you real soon about a libel suit.

    What relevance is your comment to the story?

    • AwayFromHome says:

      Lol. Yup, don’t you dare stand up and speak the truth. Unless it’s in the interest of the OBA.

    • Johnny says:

      You can’t sue if it’s true.

      • Suzie Quattro says:

        You think what Scott’s saying is true?

      • actually the part about the drugs going on the street is not true at all from what i remember of the case…….and there are a few more politicians with records as well, but they have done good things with their lives since their mistake, and remember they paid for their crimes too…..

  4. bluebird says:

    Mr Scott appears to be very careless with the truth.Bermuda is the “ONLY” country or Island in the “WHOLE” of the Carabbean basin that has a GOVERMENT FERRY SERVICE.
    All other areas have “PRIVATE FERRYS” you know they are owned and operated by private people with private companies and pay TAXES.
    Mr Scott do pray tell us how many $millions$ of dollars the Government ferries “LOOSE” every year.

  5. in the know says:

    Shadow minster if you are going to make claims make sure the facts n figures are accurate.
    Clearly this shows why Bermuda has a huge debt cause math is not a strong subject for the former government!

    • DeliverUs says:


    • Kangoocar says:

      Typical plp rhetoric!!! They will never let the facts get in the way of a good story!! If they had any sense at all, they would be totally mute on anything too do with costs of running anything!!! Their track record was appalling at best!!!

  6. the garbage is am talking about is the statement from maddog…..

  7. thats me says:

    publish your name maddog!! your a WUS!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      You guys need to get up to blogspeed Bermy style .
      When you know who Maddog is it all makes perfect sense.

    • Dave says:

      @thats me

      Take your own advice since both of you smell like WUSSIES.

  8. Sisu says:

    Aren’t the qlq the guys who made the decision to bring in and use this ferry? I thought the oba only put into place the plan that had already been made.

  9. Headless Horseman says:

    I dont care who maddog is,hes a nobody like you,me and anyone else.

  10. Hmmm says:

    Oh dear , how embarressing Scott.

    I think Scott should apologise or resign immediately for this to the workers, the Millenium owners, the government, the OBA, his party and Bermuda.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      Scott is a total lightweight. I hope he keeps coming out with stuff like this. It makes for great spectator sport.

  11. jt says:

    The ferry seevice WORKED well for the first time in years. Get rid of our fleet and bring in 1/2 dozen more Milleniums.

  12. victor says:

    Well I guess the PLP are the experts on over budgeting and hidden budgeting…so I guess Mr. Scott knows what he is talking about.

  13. Grand Wizzard says:

    if you legalized drugs no politicians (or other trusted ppl) could profit from substances being illegal.

    Every nation that did this found crime dropped dramatically, and also drug use. Imagine that!

    Sad thing is people typically are too dumb to find their own feet and don’t see this. And such people further the illegality of drugs – which is DIRECTLY WHY they cost so much, which is DIRECTLY WHY it causes crime etc!

    derp de derp!

  14. Grand Wizzard says:

    (off topic but related to discussions in the comments section:)

    legal heroin: pennies per pound

    illegal heroin: hundreds of thousands of dollars per pound.

    a heroin addict who wants heroin can afford pennies a day. But when it is thousands, he cannot, and robs and steals.

    who makes it illegal? governments.
    why? “because drugs harm your body and society”


    Common sense tells me that if so much crime is drug-related, then it is only happening because the addicts are forced to pay thousands for something that costs pennies. and dealers are making thousands on stuff that costs pennies. So…. illegality is what is harming society, IN REALITY. In your imagination it is the other way around.

    And drugs harm the body? So does bleach, acid, fire, glue, paint, tylenol, high cholesterol, pollution, rope, knives, etc etc

    Don’t add up to me.

  15. Realist says:

    Thankyou OBA for moving all those people in a timely fashion.
    The old PLP govt had tourists and locals vexed,because of their incompetence in running public transport.
    Minister Crockwell,keep up the good work!

  16. Micro says:

    Wasn’t this ferry and contract for said ferry brought in under the PLP anyway? Perhaps they should’ve gotten a more reliable ferry if whats been said has any truth to it.

    “The Shadow Minster also suggested that it “might prove to be prudent to utilize the light winter season to schedule a bare minimum of equipment between Nov and April to permit an active corrective and preventive maintenance program so that the entire fleet is ready and able to handle the peak traffic loads of the season ahead.”

    Oh, yes, that would be prudent indeed. Such should’ve been getting done under the PLP as well, which wasn’t… Poor maintenance is what created the need to contract a ferry in the first place.

    • who cares says:

      management in goverment and m&p are the real issue. if everyone did their jobs and did routine checks that are signed off by upper management the ferries wont be in the state they are. if outsourcing is the answer then should we outsource for a reliable experienced premier?

  17. goblowioya says:

    Mr Scott give it up, You are grasping at very thin straw, anything to try and discredit something your party couldn’t do thank god. I would hate to think what the cost could have been after your party got their mitts on it.

  18. who cares says:

    the issue is that government has over spent plain and simply, yet moaning that there is not enough money. no deal was signed off when the ruining party won so they had the power to approve or disapprove of the unsigned deal. regardless of who is ruining the country we need change yet again.

  19. Bucket says:

    What does the PLP know about budgeting ?
    They only knew about spending on themselves,as long as everyone else was paying for it!

  20. Douglas says:

    I’m sorry, this is the 3rd or 4th time Lawrence Scott has talked stupidly. He needs to check his facts before opening his mouth and stop listening to his reliable sources. They are wrong and so is he! If you don’t know what you’re talking about, you should be quiet so no one figures it out.