It’s another exciting day for Marine Atlantic as we officially open our new terminal building in North Sydney. This $20 million, state-of-the-art facility is modern, efficient, environmentally friendly, and offers many new amenities for customers.
This new building was several years in the making. We recognized an operational need to make our marshalling activities and loading processes more efficient, update our technology and customer amenities. While our former building served customers very well, it has been showing its age.
Upon receiving the $521 million funding commitment from the Government of Canada in Budget 2010, we began the planning process for a new terminal building. Environmental efficiency was a key consideration through every design feature, and we have applied to obtain LEED certification demonstrating that the building is a leader in environmental and energy efficient design, furthering our commitment to the environment. There are also many new amenities available for customers, including a commercial driver seating lounge area, and our customers will have closer and improved access to downtown amenities.
The new terminal building is the final project of the Budget 2010 funding commitment. During the past five years, we have upgraded all aspects of our service including our fleet, docks, marshalling areas, building infrastructure and business processes, with safety being the highest priority in everything we do. From a customer perspective, these improvements have been noticed as customer satisfaction rates have increased by almost 20 per cent and on-time performance has improved to 90 per cent. The new North Sydney terminal building will help further strengthen that customer experience by providing a facility that will better serve the operational needs of Marine Atlantic and the travel needs of customers.
I would like to thank and recognize the investments made by the Government of Canada in helping us with our renewal program over the past five years. I would also like to extend our appreciation for the new funding envelope of approximately $375 million that was recently announced, continuing the momentum of previous investments and allowing Marine Atlantic to move forward with the purchase of the MV Blue Puttees and MV Highlanders.
I also want to recognize and thank our employees for their continued effort and dedication to our renewal process, helping us become modern and efficient offering a higher level of customer service. Without their hard work we would not be able to achieve these successes.
We are very proud of our service and what we have accomplished over the past five years during our renewal process. The upgrades we are making today reinforce the importance of our service which has operated between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia for the past 117 years. By working together with our shareholder, customers, employees, local communities and business partners, our service is well-positioned for the future.