Ige floats proposal to bring back ferry service | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Ige floats proposal to bring back ferry service

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2007

    About 50 people on boogie boards, surfboards and canoes block the Superferry’s entrance into Nawiliwili Harbor. The ferry was forced to turn back without docking. Opponents on Kauai were concerned about the extra traffic it would bring to the island.

Gov. David Ige’s administration is moving ahead with a proposal to revive interisland ferry service in Hawaii, a potentially controversial effort that could even involve the same catamaran vessels that were deployed in the ill-fated “Superferry” initiative that shut down in 2009.

State Department of Transportation Director Ford Fuchigami told lawmakers his office is managing the initiative, which will take a step forward later this year when the state seeks proposals for a feasibility study for a ferry system.

Fuchigami cautioned lawmakers that putting a ferry back into service would take years, and told senators that “we need to do it right this time.”

He also said he has inquired about the two vessels that were purchased by the military after the Hawaii Superferry initiative failed, and said he was told the vessels are not being used.

Senate Transportation and Energy Committee Chairwoman Lorraine Inouye, (D, Kapulehu-Waimea-­North Hilo) said this week that she supports the effort, and plans to travel with Fuchigami to Washington, D.C., in March to learn more about the status of the former Superferry vessels.

The state Department of Transportation played a key role in the original effort to launch the privately owned Superferry project during former Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration.

The state contributed about $40 million in harbor improvements to accommodate the service, and the department in 2005 made a crucial decision to exempt the project from some environmental review requirements, including an environmental impact statement.

The first vessel put into service was a 349-foot catamaran able to travel between islands at up to 40 mph, and capable of carrying up to 866 passengers and 282 cars.

The Superferry system launched on Aug. 24, 2007, but was blocked two days later by protesting swimmers and surfers at Kauai’s Nawiliwili Harbor. On Aug. 27, protesters who were blocking the harbor forced the ferry to turn back without docking, prompting the service to suspend its Kauai trips.

Days later the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled the DOT should have required additional environmental reviews for the Superferry project. Lingle then called lawmakers into a special session to pass a law to allow the Superferry to continue to operate while an environmental impact statement was performed.

The Superferry resumed service to Kahului in December, but in March 2009 the state Supreme Court ruled that the law passed by the Legislature during the 2007 special session was unconstitutional. That decision forced the Superferry to halt operations again, and the company entered bankruptcy on May 30, 2009.

Tim Sakahara, department spokesman, issued a written statement Monday confirming that “HDOT is working with the state Legislature and the U.S. Maritime Administration on a feasibility study of an interisland ferry system.”

“Should the state continue the discussions of a ferry system, an environmental impact statement will be conducted in addition to studying factors such as possible routes, speed, impacts, benefits and ridership,” Sakahara said in his statement.

The cost of the feasibility study is still unknown, and Sakahara said the DOT plans to seek funding for the initiative “from our state and federal partners.” Fuchigami told lawmakers the current plan would have the state own the ferry vessels because that will allow the state to qualify for federal subsidies.

Fuchigami said Ige’s goal is to look at all intermodal transportation, and that a ferry system “is going to be very important.” A spokeswoman for Ige’s office said the governor had nothing to add to the department’s comments.

House Speaker Joseph Souki described himself as “a strong advocate of the ferry,” and said he would be happy to reopen the issue. He said a state-owned system “would be even better, but it’s a major investment.” A feasibility study would allow the state to weigh the cost of the project and the amount of public support for a ferry, he said.

“But we certainly need one,” said Souki (D, Waihee-Waiehu-Wailuku). “We’re probably the only archipelago in the whole world that doesn’t have a ferry.”

Senate President Ron Kouchi was more cautious. He said the state clearly needs to do an environmental impact statement to comply with the law. That will provide an opportunity for public comment, and Kouchi (D, Kauai-Niihau) wondered whether public perception of the project may have evolved as interisland air fares have increased in recent years.

Opponents of the project on Kauai were passionate, he said, with people worried that traffic from the Superferry would lead to depletion of natural resources and fishing areas, and crowding at surfing spots.

However, “part of the issue was that it was so inexpensive to go interisland (by air),” Kouchi said. “That’s not the case today, so maybe views have changed because of wanting competition in the interisland transportation market.”

At least some of the previous opponents of the interisland ferry system remain strongly opposed to the idea. Albert Perez, executive director of the Maui Tomorrow Foundation, said revival of a ferry system would likely cause invasive species such little fire ants to spread even more rapidly across the island chain.

Perez said running a ferry system is not a profitable business, “and that’s why ferries went out with the advent of the airlines.” Maui Tomorrow, a watchdog group that seeks to enforce land use and environmental law, joined in a lawsuit to block the original Superferry project.

Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser said the Superferry model of a large, fast vessel is wrong for Hawaii because it uses too much fuel, goes too fast and carries too many cars, which means the impact on rural communities would be significant.

“This is a giant hole in the water that the state’s going to pour money into if this moves forward,” Hooser said. “It’s going to take massive subsidies, and it’s going to be another boondoggle, in my opinion.”

Hooser said the state would be better off spending its money “on schools, and affordable housing and drug treatment at prison, not on subsidizing something like this that will just be a massive drain of resources.”

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  • “Senate Transportation and Energy Committee Chairwoman Lorraine Inouye, (D, Kapulehu-Waimea-­North Hilo) said this week that she supports the effort, and plans to travel with Fuchigami to Washington, D.C., in March to learn more about the status of the former Superferry vessels.” Why? Is the telephone broken? Good thing the state is running such a huge surplus.

    • Right??? That’s the same thought that came to my mind. Why can’t they contact by phone or email rather than take a trip in March…..oh, wait a minute, the cherry blossoms will be in bloom. Waste of our taxpayers dollars – put that money in the public school system instead!

        • “Schools could put that money to better use.” Total shibai. Have you not seen no matter how much money they receive from taxpayers, grades do not improve, school buildings are in disrepair. Unions just rip off the money to take care of union business.

          Truth is our clueless local eco terrorists, Young Brothers, Hawaiian Airlines, rental car companies all hate the SF because they think it takes away their business. Remember when an onboard eco terrorist falsely claimed the SF hit a whale? Laughable how backwards these people are.

          Bring the ferry back as it was the one improvement which really did deliver.

        • Totally agree, however the pendulum has swung to the Hawaiian activists’ side.
          The ferry would be dead in the water after the anti-TMT crowd would say the boats would desecrate sacred Hawaiian waters.

          Lorraine should stay home and concentrate on solvable problems.

        • I cannot believe how backward we are in this State. We have the ocean all around us. Yet we still rely on expensive planes to get us around. We are an archipelago, and need a ferry system to get our people, fresh home grown foods, equipment, and cars between islands in a quick, efficient and low cost way. We have a movement of people here, who are against every form of technological and scientific advance. Those people have a knee jerk reaction to the Superferry, the Rail Project, TMT, and the Inouye observatory. An outside observer, would believe there were many savages living in our isles.
          While those savages continue to reap the benefits of science, technology and medicine.

      • Good observation, why should they send 2 when there no assurance of success. Another boondoggle trip at the public trough expense. Suggest the latter part of March and 1st week in April, wait a minute was it an extra warm winter, than it could “cherry blossoms” could occur earlier?

      • allie, agreed. The things our elected officials do and the State and City departments do are hinging on sabotage–it can’t be a coincidence that all these bad decisions are being made accidentally. Last time I checked we had a Congressional Delegation in DC–and they are all in the same party–give ’em a call and check on the Ferries!! How I’d love to see a businessman run this place!!!!

        • You apparently aren’t in business school at UH. The business plan for the ferry made no sense, and could never have been profitable. The state will have to subsidize every passenger on every transit. Forever.

        • You mean subsidize every passenger like they do every bus passenger, and will be doing for every train passenger?????

    • Is it just me or do the Maui and Kauai representatives seem incredibly selfish when discussing a ferry system. Neighbor Islanders want all the benefits of being part of this state but none of negatives like crowded beaches and traffic congestion huh. They’re happy to receive state tax dollars generated on Oahu for their schools, roads and hospitals but say no to Oahu cars and people at their beaches.They forget that the state government spends more money on the neighbor islands for state services than it collects in taxes. The neighbor islands are essentially subsidized by the taxpayers on Oahu who contribute the majority of all state taxes. Anyone who protests a state wide ferry system has either got a financial interest in preventing it or is just plain selfish.

  • Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty-foot waves in winter…fire ants…coqui frogs…easy theft of resources (remember the truck full of large stolen rocks?)…

    Yes, please. If we have to go through this again, PLEASE this time do it right.

    From the article: “…the department in 2005 made a crucial decision to exempt the project from some environmental review requirements, including an environmental impact statement.”

    That wording gives the impression that only “some” environment review was overlooked. That’s massively understated. The law that was overlooked was the *entirety* of Chapter 343 (Environmental Impact Statements) of the HRS, the laws that govern our state.

    Here’s just section 1 of that law, the law that then-Governor Lingle broke and completely ignored in her haste to get her project going, thus hastening the demise of the “Superferry” –

    §343-1 Findings and purpose. The legislature finds that the quality of humanity’s environment is critical to humanity’s well being, that humanity’s activities have broad and profound effects upon the interrelations of all components of the environment, and that an environmental review process will integrate the review of environmental concerns with existing planning processes of the State and counties and alert decision makers to significant environmental effects which may result from the implementation of certain actions. The legislature further finds that the process of reviewing environmental effects is desirable because environmental consciousness is enhanced, cooperation and coordination are encouraged, and public participation during the review process benefits all parties involved and society as a whole.
    It is the purpose of this chapter to establish a system of environmental review which will ensure that environmental concerns are given appropriate consideration in decision making along with economic and technical considerations. [L 1979, c 197, §1(1); am L 1983, c 140, §4]

    (BTW – The Supreme Court’s rejection of the project was unanimous.)

        • Are you kidding me. If YB ever got something that worked faster that the gar-BARGE that they use now, they would have to gouge even more than what they charge now.

      • I believe the State’s environmental review law is triggered by the expenditure of State funds. Since the State spent around $40 million on harbor improvements in Maui, environmental review was triggered. Ironically, the second ship was configured is such a way that the harbor improvements were moot, so with some patience in implementation we might have a Superferry today.

    • Hello, the barges have been running between the islands for decades, they are not immune to spreading all the crap between the islands, in fact , they are the primary spread of all the bugs and other environmental krap mentioned . Containers ,cars , items mounted on pallets etc all have possibilty of transmisson. Helloooo. It aint going to matter .

        • Exactly! My Silverado was shipped via YB from Big Island to Oahu with 60K miles of BI driving. We rent a container and ship our Harley’s via YB to BI to ride and turn around and return in the same container to Oahu. Give me a break with this contact krap! Much rather ride or drive on to the Super Ferry. As for Gary Hooser – please tree hug in another state.

      • Raja dat! No blame the SF, this has been going on since initial contact! And will continue to happen. I’m sure there is a way to minimize invasive species. Let’s start with foreigners to Hawaii buying lands and pricing Kama’aina out of the market. But Kama’aina need a viable transportation option to visit ohana on the neighbor islands. Hawaiian Air is making a killing right now! Even with fuel prices at an all time low. They still killing locals on baggage fee’s.

    • The interisland barges and the airlines should be monitored for transporting invasive species. I bet the little fire ant is spreading because of shipments coming over on the barge and via the air. Does anybody check them? It’d be worse with the ferry. The LFA get into the vehicles and then the vehicles would bring them back.

    • Fire ants…Coqui frogs…You left one out. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. For now, those Dengue Fever and Zika Virus carrier mosquitoes are found only in certain locales on the Big Island, including areas around the ports in Kona and Hilo. Along with other tiny critters, those mosquitoes are bound to find their way on board the ferries to other islands, where they will breed rapidly in any wet and rainy places, especially used tires, plastic bags, and other litter in urban areas where water puddles are common. In other places where Dengue once was prevalent there was a common nickname for it: “Breakbone Fever,” so intense is the pain in many of its victims. And Zika? Full understanding of the diseases related to it is still incomplete, but there is mounting evidence that Guillain-Barre syndrome is one of them, an extremely dangerous autoimmune disorder that can cause paralysis. The health hazards to local residents are fearful enough, but see what happens to tourism if Dengue and Zika are one day discovered in Honolulu. The Ferry is a dumb and fiscally wasteful idea to begin with. But, longer term, its consequences could be truly disastrous.

  • The state does not know how to do anything right. But they do know how to spend money on studies that go on for years. And yes, the cherry blossoms in Washington are worth visiting. Plus, a nice prime rib dinner at Blackies is worth the trip.

      • Fix the harbors so the Superferries can run the same route as TheBoat. I rode TheBoat multiple times and the main problem was it was too slow and unreliable when weather got bad. TheBoat took like 90 minutes one-way, about the same as rail’s projected commute. The superferry catamarans would be so much faster and more stable. Run the ferries during peak traffic and cancel the rail project. This will GUARANTEE reduce congestion on the roads and highways.

        Rail increases the current bus fleet, resulting in increased traffic on surface streets. This is indisputable. Pro-railers have failed to demonstrate that the supposed cars removed from the road offsets these added buses and the transition of UH students switching from dedicated express buses to cars. Even if you don’t count the UH students, only 10% of the projected rail ridership is supposed to come from those that formerly drove cars. So the ideal scenario, does this 10% more ridership offset the additional buses bought to run feeder routes. This also assumes all current express bus riders will transition to rail. In a more realistic scenario, when you subtract the UH students and the current express riders that will drive in, rail will result in a net increase in vehicles on the road. Rail was the worse transit option of BRT hot lanes/flyovers, mag-lev and toll roads. All the other options would have saved a commuter time. Rail increases the commute times for everyone – drivers and current public transit users. For drivers, you save 4 minutes on the freeway due to buses being removed but that is offset by the extra traffic on surface streets by those same (and more) buses now running feeder routes. Just look where the Kapolei station is. Don’t tell me a line of feeder buses won’t affect the freeway on-ramp traffic. It’s going to be a disaster.

      • But the harbor and docks will be destroyed. Better cultivate good relations with the military and their helicopter pilots. On the other hand we could delay relief saying, “Told you so, Kauai.”

      • Let the people (Kauaians) suffer from isolation if they get hit with hurricane again. Let them spend much of their hard earned dollars on buying those tickets to travel to the other islands. They killed the SF which they could have benefited greatly.

        • It’s certainly the Christian way to wish ill on people. You always look on the bright side! Just forget the fact that the ferry had a terrible business plan and would have required large state subsidies to operate. It’s only money!

      • Maui was anti-ferry too until they needed it to transport National Guard troops after a disaster. If I remember correctly, Mayor Tavares lost plenty face campaigning against Superferry and then having to thank the service after helping Maui through a disaster. Airport was unusable for a short time.

      • I’m pro-ferry but I’m also a believer that this State can’t run anything effectively. Oh well, I guess they can just raise the general excise tax to cover the loses.

        • How about if we let Alaska or Washing State own and operate the ferry system… they do a great job in their own states. Oh, sorry, Hawaii is way to “anti-business” for any real chance of that happening.

        • I’m pro-ferry as well and I don’t think the state is thinking of running the ferry on its own. From the sounds of it they want to find a contractor. At any rate I hope the second time around is better. I had friends visit us from Maui. They packed up the family Toyota (including the family dog) and rolled it on to the ferry. It was great for them! To me the ferry was all about bringing families together and facilitating commerce. Yes there were always some knuckleheads who tried to do stupid things (like bring over a truck load of rocks and block the ferry with surfboards), but all in all I think its good for Hawaii.

    • Look to BC Ferries to see how to run a successful ferry service. This is so typical. An island state like Hawai’i and we can’t even figure out how to run a ferry system. This is SOOO typical for the way things are done here. It’s embarrassing to us as a state. The word “incompetence” comes to mind…

      • Do you know how large the taxpayer subsidy is for the BC Ferry system? It could not survive being privately owned, so the government owns it and subsidizes each fare. Is that what you are suggesting for Hawai’i? Incompetence? Take a quick look in a mirror.

        • That system is taxpayer supported and covers about 60% of costs through ticket sales. So you think it’s a good idea for taxpayers to support your trips to Kaua’i? I don’t want to do that. Take a plane and pay your own way.

  • Could it just be a people ferry?? No cars?? This would the environment from getting harmed. Could carry freight back and forth instead of cars.
    Way back in the 20’s in SF Bay area they had a people ferry–no cars.
    Similar to what a cruise ship does now here.

    • Good idea. I lived in the Bay Area 15 years ago and the people-ferries were a very effective way to get around; still are, as far as I know. Many folks from the East Bay used/use them to commute to city jobs.

    • And the difference being? Hey, those Christmas tree containers carry pests, too. And people carry contraband in their luggage. Think what a ferry-load of vermin would do, or, for that matter, a ferry-load of homeless. Don’t need cars to get same effect. Maybe everyone and everything should go through a steam-cleaning or DDT spray? And make airlines do same. Sheesh!

    • What possible difference could it make if I rented a car on Kauai or took my own car on the ferry? You’d still have an extra car on the road right? What enviromental damage you do you refer to? The real issue here is that some selfish folks on the neighbor islands don’t want a thousand people from Oahu to monopolize their beaches on the weekend and cause traffic jams where none currently exist.

      • Their argument is that you will go 4 wheeling and species of insects and coqui frogs will find their way to other islands. Personally I don’t give a rip but that is the environmentalist spin. Even if they require a car wash first, the undercarriage is never perfectly clean.

  • Ige can’t even get the telescope construction to proceed after years of going through the permitting process. Now he wants to add super ferry to his list. Was there a big contribution to his campaign?

    • You are so correct! The Ferry is doomed to fail. High seas, long hours from one island to the next. Unless you are retired of visiting…most working people won’t use the ferry. You can fly over, see your MD and be back in the same day. Using the Ferry will almost require an over night stay. Remember we had sea-flight in the 60’s/70’s (?)! My neighbors took it once, got stalled for a few hours at sea and arrived on Oahu near mid-night.

      Let’s get the telescope completed first!

      • You are so uninformed did you ride the super ferry or sea flight? Do you like to pay high air fares? I rode all of them and the supper ferry was the best. And yes a lot of working people used the supper ferry.

        • I used to love watching the “Sea Flight” slowly going out of the Harbor – then lifting up and then Zooming along. I watched from way up on Alewa Heights, At Ma’s House.

        • And tourists love having the option of visiting the other islands by Superferry. An exciting and enjoyable ride on the ocean with fresh air and sea spray. Another great tourist attraction and experience. Hawaii Tourist Bureau needs to get behind the Superferry.

      • Oh, yeah. There have been a couple of jet crashes lately. Haven’t seen a move to ban air travel. Your excuses are very lame and grasping at straws. Who are you to suppose how people will spend their time on inter island trips? Silly boy.

    • Yeah. Counties could choose to exempt eternally themselves from the service. So, in event of another economy-wrecking hurricane like Iniki or Iwa, Kauai could suck albatross eggs as ferry would not go there to help bring vital supplies and equipment, even if they do (suck eggs). They make their nest, they can lie in it, even if nest is full of sh*t. I guess that would effectively kill Carvalho’s chances at governor if a hurricane did hit and he fights against the ferry (as Kauai folk could conveniently use him as a scapegoat. What? There’s no such thing as hurricanes? They never hit Kauai? Oh, ok. Why worry?

  • At least the ferry wouldn’t cost $10 billion by the time it finishes. Right, ub? And it would go more than 20 miles, and have a lot more passengers than the toy choo-choo.

  • You all notice that the past few Governors sound real good when they get into office. But after awhile when we get to know the TRUE person they really are not too bright and with no common sense. They don’t think things through. Mainly costs. They just spend and more often then not they realize a mistake has been made. Therefore costing us a lot of money to fix or scrap the project(s). One just needs to look at our City’s great Rail. Unforeseen astronomical costs. Affecting numerous people’s livelihoods to the point that many have or may close their businesses.

  • The same people in our SOH government and DOT are the same people pushing this intiative they didn’t learn their lesson the first time around what makes you think they can’t make the same mistake??

  • Glad they’re considering bringing this ferry service back. People enjoyed when it was in operation. It provided a great option to travel to the Neighbor Islands.

  • The Environmental Impact Statement(EIS) was required for the $40 million dollars spent in harbor improvements. If there were no required improvements to the harbors, no EIS would have been required. Catamarans are operating daily in our waters. If the U.S. Navy were to berth one of their new littoral ships in Pearl Harbor and operate it in State waters, would they be required to prepare an EIS?

    Ferries will cause the spread of fire ants? Did the coqui frogs swim from Hilo to Honolulu? The arguments against the ferry are so lame. It would be just as lame if Oahu stopped and subjected all incoming passengers from the neighbor islands to an inspection for invasive species and undesirables.

    Young Brothers, Hawaiian Airlines, Aloha Cargo have a vested interest in keeping the ferry out because it would negatively impact their businesses. Keep a close eye on who gets the most in political contributions this election year.

  • This would be great for the small business owners from the neighbor islands to sell their goods on Oahu. They can drive their trucks and vans with their merchandise. I’m sure the airlines won’t like the new proposal.

  • He is not remotely serious about starting up the Ferry. This is all smoke and hot air. He just needs something that sounds popular to make up for all of his fumbles to increase his likeability. C’mon people, don’t get caught up in this. Why bring up something that competes against the other money draining project? More money being spent on maintenance, upkeep, environmental issues..

  • Albert Perez, executive director of the Maui Tomorrow Foundation, hasn’t got a clue what he is saying, just talking shibai.

    He willfully fails to understand all the benefits the SF brought to the Nei. Entire families could travel inter island with their car and all the baggage they wanted to bring at a fair rate. Not overcharged by greedy Hawaiian Airlines. Farmers loaded their trucks with produce, drove on and off. Shippers could get their products to other islands same day versus weeks later by Jurassic Young Brother’s barges. Motorcycle owners loved to drive on and off with their bike cheaply versus having to suffer from YB’s over charging to pack and ship it, taking weeks.

    All in all the SF is good for the Nei. Sad to say way too many weak minded people, TMT protesters, who want to live in the past while the advancing world passes them by, leaves them in the dust.

    • I remember the commercials for the SuperFerry. It showed families driving their personal cars onto the vessels. Who needs suitcases? Just keep your fresh clothes in a clothes basket! If the service is brought back, Hawaii’s rental car companies will feel some heat.

    • I have a friend who pilots air freight. They have a lot of business flying horses, cattle, etc. between islands. Costly. With Superferry, those horses for the parades could be transported to Honolulu at lower cost than now.

  • I hope they do it right this time, the people of the islands can benefit from this transportation. At this time we need an alternative source of travel, Hawaiian Airlines is rapping the people of Hawaii with their price codes, they have the market all to them selves and they are not afraid to charge a ridiculous amount for flight’s. I haven’t seen my family on the other Island for a very long time, I would like to see them more often than at funeral’s or on a doctor’s trip. I would like to see my aging auntie’s and uncle’s and my cousin’s that don’t even know me more often. I would like to take my grand kid’s to the Zoo for God sake, with airfare so high that won’t happen anytime soon.
    The Ferry would be a nice addition, I just hope they do it right this time!

  • Increased mobility generates increased economy. That’s true. But the realities of Hawaii’s channels, among the roughest year-round in the world, preclude easy answers. Remember when the SuperFerry spent much of its operational time in drydocks? Why was that? I believe it was because of the punishing nature of the channels — bent propellers, other stresses. I wish someone would find out what really happened before all this happy talk gains momentum.

  • using the same vessels would be unwise. the real cause of its demise was that it was too big (expensive to operate) and insufficient number of passengers; hence it could not make a profit and loss money. a ferry between the islands will encounter rough seas, especially in the winter months, too small a vessel will cause passengers to become seasick, even with the superferry, this was a problem during winter months. the service has to be reliable and timely. going between islands took about 4 hours one way with the SF, this would not be good for daytrippers, only for those who plan over night trips or longer than one day. it is the economics not government regulations that tripped up the SF. others have tried with smaller vessels but it was not feasible because of rough seas and low number of passengers.

    • Primary use of ferry is for cheaper cargo transportation for commercial vehicles, especially for delivering cargo, container trucks with cargo can be mounted on ferry and driven off for delivery. Or sending over cars instead of the barge, auto dealers would have a safer method of transporting new vehicles without getting the salt water damage , spray all over the vehicles put on a barge . The stevedores at Young bros. are sloppy and dont care about our cars if they dent them .

  • So those 50 jerks were able to stop a Multics million dollar operation. They should have been jailed, but of course since the state had a republican governor the did not care about the other million residents who wanted the ferry. Typical Hawaii, look at TMT. Laws are just enforced when they feel like it.

  • Young Brothers and Matson are not interested in changing as they have us all by the gonads and they like it that way.
    The demise of the Super Ferry occurred because Gov Lingle and others screwed things up not only on the environmental issues but in the design of the Super Ferry which then
    required that the state come up with millions of tax dollars to retrofit the harbors so that the ferry could dock and unload. it was really the blind leading the blind and was handled
    in a very incompetent way. I sure do hope that the attempt to provide an inter island ferry is going to be done right starting with the proper design of a ferry that is appropriate
    for Hawaiian waters which are very rough unlike other places where ferry’s operate. And because of the threat of invasive species such as the coqui frog and fire ants and who know
    what else there will need to be strict inspections and controls instituted so that pests are diseases are not spread.
    A statewide ferry is a great idea but whether it can be done and be economically feasible is uncertain.

  • Talk about wasting money why are thousands of dollars being spent to provide covered parking at Kapalama elementary in front of the school. Is it so staff can have a cool car to ride after work. Schools need air conditioning not covered parking. This is so out of line that we the tax payers need an explanation.

  • Instead of a Superferry, why not bring a simple ferry service just for people and bicycles and leave out the cars. Then the Kauai and Maui activists will be fine with this and it would not harm the environment. I’d love the idea of taking with me a bicycle that doesn’t have to be crated. Also, we wouldn’t have to wait for years to be approved. Any takers?

      • Of course I don’t rent a car. Why would I need to if I brought a bicycle? The more bicycles people can bring with them, the less cars they would have to rent, so actually there would be less cars around. When I visited both places, I brought my bike on the bus rack when the distances were too far; otherwise, I rode my bike all the way and back. More cyclists would come if they didn’t have to crate their bikes. So instead, they stay home or rent bicycles.

    • I bet the fares for the SF would be cheaper than Hawaiian Airlines fares. You tell those activists to ride or fly to Oahu, which one you think they going pick? They all WAHA…

  • A recent trip to the Big Island costs – $195 R/T plane ticket, 3 day car rental ($186) + Cust Fac charge $13.50 + Concession Rec Fee $17.89 + rent tax surcharge $9 + vehicle reg fee & weight tax $ .47+ sales tax 4.166% $8.55.

    The gouging of kamaainas need to STOP!

    We need more alternative choices like a Super Ferry to make the Hawaiian Airlines & National Rent a Cars have some competition and perhaps their rates may be more reasonable.

    • So you think it’s fair for taxpayers to subsidize your vacations? The SF could never have broken even or made a profit. Why should I help pay for your vacation?

      • Why not.Taxpayers pay for rail, welfare, big bank losses, illegal immigrants so a few bucks for a nice vacation would be appreciated. Maybe you could provide a business plan for a successful SF.

        • Well that’s remarkable logic. Just subsidize everything! I didn’t realize there were so many dedicated Socialists here. And with regard to making the ferry a going concern that will operate without a direct cash subsidy, I can’t. No one could. That’s the point that very few people here (obviously) understand.

  • Travel to Washington “to learn more about the status of the former Superferry vessels”? Has mail and telephone service between Hawaii and Washington been cut off?

  • if we have a state wide inter island quarantine, a real one, not a DOT one, then maybe, Otherwise kiss the ohia tree goodbye, say yellow to my little friends the coqui and good luck sitting down because of the fire ants!

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