Marine Atlantic had previous experience working with Alvarado. The agency installed Alvarado TAS12 intelligent entry devices on existing optical turnstile lanes, allowing riders to self-scan their bar coded tickets.The Northeastern Canada ferry agency also installed a TAS12 on the wall outside the new commercial lounge. This allows their premium users to unlock the door by scanning a valid commercial ticket.

Now boarding: New $20 million ferry terminal installs Alvarado access control system.

Marine Atlantic’s new $20 million dollar two-story ferry terminal in North Sydney, Nova Scotia is a first-class environmentally-friendly operation, including a private lounge for commercial drivers and bright, open seating areas for the general public.

But before travelers begin their 280 mile ferry journey to Port Aux Basque, Newfoundland, their tickets are validated by an Alvarado access control system.

Marine Atlantic had previous experience working with Alvarado. The agency installed Alvarado TAS12 intelligent entry devices on existing optical turnstile lanes, allowing riders to self-scan their bar coded tickets. If a ticket is valid, the TAS12 opens the optical lane, allowing passage. The Northeastern Canada ferry agency also installed a TAS12 on the wall outside the new commercial lounge. This allows their premium users to unlock the door by scanning a valid commercial ticket.

Marine Atlantic officials were pleased with the self-scanning functionality, including its intuitiveness for users and the ease of integrating the terminal’s ticketing system with Alvarado GateLink10 access control software.
The ferry agency required the same enhanced security and intuitiveness at the new North Sydney terminal including a unified access control system between the two terminals.

“We were very happy with the Alvarado TAS12 operation at our Port Aux Basque location,” said Ed Davis, Marine Atlantic Senior Project Coordinator. “It made perfect sense to install an identical system in North Sydney.”

Alvarado’s TAS12 is an intelligent entry device that combines a color touchscreen, 2D bar code imager and controller that communicates to Alvarado’s GateLink10 access control software over a wired or wireless Ethernet network. The GateLink10 server based access control software provides all gate control, integrating in real-time with Marine Atlantic’s ticketing system.


Installation of the access control system was simplified through Alvarado personnel commissioning the system before the terminal opened. In addition, they provided the facility with operator training.

“We worked directly with Marine Atlantic to ensure a smooth installation and make sure the operation was simple from a customer’s standpoint,” said William Voss, Alvarado Senior Sales Engineer.

Now, before passengers take the 280 nautical mile, 6 hour, ferry journey across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, they now validate their tickets at the intuitive TAS12 intelligent entry device to enter the terminal’s spacious waiting area.