comscore Superferry dreams face cost, public opinion hurdles | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.
Top News

Superferry dreams face cost, public opinion hurdles

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now

    Hawaii officials are exploring what it would take to run a ferry between islands. But they’re facing skepticism over costs and whether there’s a ferry system residents would accept. But the idea is bringing back memories of the Superferry, an emotional and expensive failure in Hawaii history. Years ago protesters blocked the Superferry from docking in Kauai. And a court later ordered the ferry to stop running because the state didn’t do a proper environmental review.

When a 30-foot-tall ferry loomed outside a Kauai harbor in 2007, surfers and kayakers — looking like tiny ducks in comparison — blocked its path, preventing it from unloading hundreds of passengers and sending the giant catamaran back to Oahu.

The emotional standoff where surfers bobbed in the water for hours marked the end to an expensive failure in Hawaii’s history: the Superferry. Now the state is exploring bringing back a ferry to run between islands, facing skepticism over financing and whether there’s a ferry system residents would accept.

Lawmakers approved $50,000 in May to study a possible inter-island ferry, and the state Department of Transportation received a $500,000 grant from the federal Maritime Administration to hire consultants to explore potential routes and boats.

“The feasibility study might come back and say maybe it’s not financially feasible for us to do this,” said Ford Fuchigami, director of the state Transportation Department. “But right now, using federal money which is available … we want to be sure that we use that money to see whether or not this is possible.”

The Hawaii Superferry ran primarily between Oahu and Maui from 2007 until 2009, but was shut down after a judge ruled the state broke the law by not completing required environmental reviews.

It was a costly gamble. Hawaii spent at least $34 million on equipment for the ferry, which it later sold for just $425,000. The barges and ramps were custom-made for the Superferry, complicating the sale, said Tim Sakahara, Department of Transportation spokesman.

Hawaii Superferry filed for bankruptcy, leaving $136.8 million in debt to the Maritime Administration — which repossessed the ferries — and a $22.9 million debt to Austal USA, which built two ferries for Hawaii for $190 million. The Navy later paid the Maritime Administration just $35 million to buy both ships. One now serves as a ferry between Maine and Nova Scotia.

“In the beginning, people believed what they were reading, that it was going to be this really low-cost way to go inter-island and it sounded like a great thing,” said Irene Bowie, former executive director of the Maui Tomorrow Foundation, which opposed the ferry based on environmental concerns. “But the devil is always in the details.”

The new study will explore public or private ownership of vessels and operations. If the state owns the vessels, it could get federal subsidies, Fuchigami said. But it might be cheaper for a third party to operate a ferry system, he said.

“Almost no ferry system in the country is self-sustaining,” said Lauren Brand, an associate administrator for the Maritime Administration. “The vast majority of them have to have public dollars to help them keep on.”

Washington State’s ferry system, which Fuchigami has identified as a potential model for Hawaii, gets about 30 percent of its operating costs from subsidies and 70 percent from the fare box, ferry experts said. The Staten Island Ferry in New York, where customers ride for free, is also subsidized by taxpayers.

Hawaii’s open ocean geography, deadly channels and protected marine life pose unique challenges.

But Hawaii can learn from ferry systems operating in the Greek Islands, the Philippines and between Argentina and Uruguay, said David Moseley, a former director of Washington Ferries and senior consultant with Carus, a firm that may compete to conduct the Hawaii study.

“There are places all over the world where ferry systems with similar situations to Hawaii are operating very successfully,” Moseley added.

Fuchigami is considering a red-eye trip from Honolulu to Hawaii Island and inter-island trips from Oahu to Kauai and Maui. He also wants commuter ferries on Oahu and Maui.

“Everyone talks about traffic,” Fuchigami said, proposing a ferry from Oahu’s West side — where homes are less expensive — into urban Honolulu.

To ensure a steady revenue stream, Fuchigami hopes inter-island ferries could carry cargo such as farm produce.

“The main thing is that we’re going to be very, very careful,” Fuchigami said.

Superferry wasn’t the only failed sea vessel attempt in Hawaii. In 2009, the same year the Superferry shut down, Honolulu ended a passenger ferry service called “TheBoat” which shuttled passengers between downtown Honolulu and West Oahu for $2.

“It didn’t really attract ridership,” said Michael Hansen, president of the Hawaii Shippers Council. “Most of the people being carried were just tourists taking a boat ride.”

A ferry running from Molokai to Maui shut down this year amid financial losses.

The Sierra Club, which opposed the Superferry, worries ferries could spread invasive species and rapid ohia death, a fungal disease killing native ohia trees, said director Marti Townsend.

“If there is a way to operate a ferry that can guarantee against the spread of invasive species, then we will keep an open mind, but from what we know now, it’s an inherent fatal flaw,” she said.

Comments (90)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • Here we go again. They better do something vastly different this time if they try a ferry system. And don’t allow a few hipster dufuses on Kauai to ruin everything because they have a warped sense of reality.

    • Don’t think Kauai wants people coming over there in that way as demonstrated how they wanted to prevent the ferry to going over. At the same time, they are whining that the air fare is so high from neighbor islands that they are asking the airlines reduce their fares to go visit. Funny how things work out. They don’t want people coming over on the ferry but are ok with them on the planes. I go to other places on vacation.

      • It’s funny that the Sierra Club seems to think that Ferries seem to be the only way that invasive species get to these islands. I am pretty sure that every single invasive species that came to these islands were not from the Ferries (especially on the Big Island that had zero Superferry service and for some reason now has Rapid Ohia Death). Yet, they make no complaints about the invasive species that get here through regular interisland shipping routes and airplanes (both airlines and private). There’s a solution for that and it’s called agricultural inspections like they have at the airport. Really disappointed in their argument against a ferry system since it’s full of hot air. LOL!

        • How does everyone think the Little Fire Ant and the Coqui Frog got to Oahu? Those pests got here via the interisland barge. Not naming names, but if a sea carrier were required to follow some biosecurity rules, Pests would less likely to move between the islands. I know from reliable sources that a shipment of plants from the Big Island can leave Hilo Bay clean, but arrive in Honolulu infested. So where does that infestation come from?

        • Bingo! Hit it right on the head. They should stop all other forms of inter island transportation if they think that’s what’s causing invasive problems. Probably work for companies that may lose money if the ferry runs regular, or own shares in those companies.

        • How can there be native species in Hawaii? They weren’t created here. They came here from somewhere else.

        • creative721 – There are no agricultural inspections for people flying between the islands. Not sure where you got that from.

      • I don’t think a few hundred people on surfboards represents all of Kauai. Even if they do, they shouldn’t be allowed to have that great an influence on something like a ferry system between islands.

        • Correct – according to my cousin over there most of those on the surfboards were mainland transplants. Most everyone actually born on Kauai wanted the ferry. Oh yea the few locals on the boards were there cause they had free buds in the parking lot.

      • It’s not the ferry they oppose but the fact that it transports cars and trucks. They know what will happen – every weekend people from Oahu will drive off the ferry and head straight to their beaches. That is what they oppose.

        • So what about all those passengers arriving by air? Don’t they rent cars? Don’t they head for the beaches? The Superferry arrivals pales in comparison to those arriving by air yet the Superferry draws all the attention.

        • The same people who do not have to work for a living have no problems obstructing contractors and service people who would put their vehicles on the ferry to get work done. The Super Ferry was not all about going to the beach.

    • Honest question: I’ve always been kind of curious. The Ferry was greeted with “cultural” protests and worries of invasive species importation but the weekly arrival of the huge Pride of America doesn’t seem to have any of these problems. Why is that? Last time we arrived at Nawiliwili, on the POA, they seemed really happy to see us; especially the car rental company.

      • The people on Kauai had visions of hundreds of cars driving off the ferry every weekend and filling up THEIR uncrowded beaches and parks with people from Oahu.
        The airlines, car rental companies and Young Bros. also oppose the ferry for financial reasons. Plain old selfishness is the bottom line.

        • Yes, I’ve spent a fair amount of time on Kauai going back to when there were no traffic lights and can understand that concern. I’ve often speculated to myself about the ability of existing passenger and cargo carriers as well as the rental industry to work in concert to exert improper political influence to protect their relative monopolies. However, I have personally seen no evidence that such a thing occurred so I should not comment further on what may just be my baseless speculation.

      • I grew up on Kauai, in a farming community. Back then there were not a lot of people. Certainly no people who have a problem with someone who works for a living. Now, the island is infested with people who were not born there who also do not have to work, therefore shutting down progress and business is of no consequence to them.

        • The most honest and candid comment. There are far to many “non-native” self proclaimed locals that are changing the culture of the island. People hate to bring this issue up…but there it is. THEY shut down the HSF because THEY didn’t want want it it to impact THEIR island. Meanwhile, real locals can go pound sand.

        • You both nailed it. I remember watching the news when they had their “blockade” and thought to myself…Those aren’t indigenous Hawaiians, those are people from the mainland. I wondered if car rental lobbyists were paying those protesters to be there & wouldn’t have been surprised if they were.

          When I was in high school there was the inter-island hydroplane Sea Flight. Couldn’t take cars on it, but it shut down due to low ridership not protests.

      • Cellodad- The Pride makes money. The SF didn’t and never could have made money.

        The SF used about 7,000 gallons of Diesel on a typical run, which meant they needed (at the time) something like a 90% load factor on every single trip to turn a profit. It was doomed as soon as Diesel rose above about $1.50 a gallon. Just the fuel on a run today would be about $28,000. Even at a 100% load factor, each passenger today (maximum of 868) would cost the SF operator about $120 each way in fuel alone. That doesn’t count staff, the cost of the vessel itself, maintenance, etc.

        It couldn’t work without a large subsidy from the taxpayer – like almost all ferry operators get.

    • I agree. These are the same people that complain that they don’t have jobs. And yet, they shun the very things that will stimulate the economy. Go figure.

      • The locals do not have real jobs. The transplants that want to turn Kauai into an annex of Santa Barbara or Malibu do not worry about real jobs. As long as someone else cleans their house and mows their lawn, who cares about the little people. If those people blockading Nawiliwili had to work for a living, they would not have been out there on their kayaks and surfboards.

  • The Ferry was amazing, you could pack up your gear, and car, dog, bicycle, SUP, dive gear and just go and enjoy……cooler full of goodies…..stupid people got in the way of a good thing!

      • There’s even more. BTW, where do you think those idiots came from? Most of them are rich, do not have to work for a living and were not born here. So hindering progress and business is no skin off of their backs.

      • South Park ripped the utter baboozes on Kauai about the SF incident with their episode of “Going Native.” It showed just how backwards these people are, stuck in the past, no hope for change.

        It was so funny, poking fun at everything about Kauai.

        • it is not only the Superferry. These same people also do not want agribusiness either. I think Trey Parker and Matt Stone(creators of South Psrk), took a swipe at that as well. When the “natives” blockaded Nawiliwil, there went their supply of rum for umbrella drinks. Had there been the agribusiness of sugarcane, there would be the ability to make rum on the island. South Park needs to do a sequel to rip the “natives” on Maui who aided the decision to shut down sugar.

  • How many aircraft fly direct to Kauai these days. Each carrying 150 to almost 300 pax per. That equals about 70 to 150 cars rented and on their streets per aircraft, and they were thinking the ferry was bringing too many cars.

    Go to Europe, visit the Mediterranean, you cannot count the number of ferrys, carrying people and cargo.

    The Super Ferry was a sad day for Hawaii, when they left. Let us do it right this time. And this time, do not let a group of mainland surfers and transplants ruin a good thing.

  • There are no public transportation systems that are self sustaining. All are built with the public good in mind and to keep things going along to ease congestion.

  • We’ve been there, done that. Let’s not waste tax payers’ money on something the mainland transplants opposed. Let them suffer from high cost of transporting goods to those who opposed the first superferry. If there is a disaster and they need something from Oahu, let’s just say ooopppssss, too bad, so sad.

    • Better yet Kauai should be forced to fund it’s own roads, schools and hospitals.
      80% of state tax revenue is generated on Oahu, the neighbor islanders should be reminded of this fact. They don’t want people from Oahu to monopolize their beaches but they’re happy to receive our tax dollars. They want all of the good but none of the bad.

  • The super ferry was a good thing. Next time ram those activist in the water on Kauai. It solved so many logistics problems for business and affordable transportation for family travel. Tried searching for reasonable neighbor island fares now days if you have a family?

  • These neighbor islanders obviously want all the good of being part of the state but none of the bad.
    The main reason the selfish folks on Kauai don’t want a ferry is to prevent people from Oahu driving off the ferry with their cars every weekend and using/camping at THEIR beaches.
    Monopoly operators like Hawaiian air and YB are also opposed as it cuts into their profit margins. Opponents will claim it’s because of invasive species, Whales, traffic or some other BS environmental reason but it’s really just plain old selfishness and greed.

  • What they need to do foremost is ramp up law enforcement procedures. Anyone blocking a ferry into harbor waters should be arrested for domestic terrorism.

  • When the Legislature offered the SuperFerry operators a deal to continue operating while they performed an EIS, the ferry operators declined, knowing they could never successfully complete they study. The also lied repeatedly about the “super secret” Navy whale avoidance system they would use; in the end, it turned out that the “secret” was that there was no such system.

  • Hmmm, an alternative to inter-island travel?? I recently booked a flight from Maui to Honolulu using 7,500 Hawaiian Miles. That same flight was selling for $199! One way, one person! Oh, there was a $94 fare at 11:00 p.m., no thanks. I would really love to pack up, drive my car on the ferry, drive off & enjoy the islands and family more often, hopefully for a more reasonable cost. How can families afford to travel inter-island?
    Having the ferry would be a more economical way for farmers & others to bring their produce & other products from island to island. In order to buy local, it needs to be profitible for the sellers and affordable for the buyers. Let’s take care of ourselves here in this state and decrease our dependency on imports.
    Also, a ferry system would serve a much greater population compared to the rail. Better use of hard earned tax dollars in my opinion.
    Winners with the ferry – passengers, farmers.
    Losers – airlines, car rental agencies, Young Brothers

  • Only reason why the Super Ferry failed is because it was done during a republican Governor. That’s the only and real reason why it failed. Had it been during the Ariyoshi or Waihee administration, it would’ve passed with flying colors. Hawaii people are stupid sheeps.

  • The statement about “The Boat” was untrue…he probably never rode it. I rode it everyday and it was great (I was a regular…even was invited by captain to ride in the wheelhouse one day)…didn’t even know that there was traffic when I rode boat. The problem is that most of the passengers ridership was Kapolei to Downtown in the morning and Aloha Tower to Kapolei in the evening…there was very little “tourist” ridership going back the other way (I know because I rode it) because there was no attempt to advertise it for tourists (they said it was a federal grant for commute only so could not advertise)…it only because popular to non-commuters near the end when the news hit that it was being discontinued.
    I testified in the City Council as to how it could be financially viable (changing free structure, advertising, use it for school field trips, Partner w/ West Hawaii business i.e. Water Park etc), but government never has any business sense anyway…that’s one of the reasons why any Hawaii state government run ferry system here in Hawaii will frail.

  • Well young bros. has a monopoly on interisland cargo and they are sky high on shipping rates and the stevedores that unload the cars don’t give a crap if they damage your car as mine was and most of the people at young bros. aren’t very helpful and very limited hours on picking up your vehicle or dropping offf. They’ve been transporting for decades so if you’re talking invasive species why aren’t the environmentalists bugging young bros. helloooo!

  • You folks need to help me understand. A ferry for an island state surrounded by water?!
    How does that make any sense? Yes, I am being sarcastic..
    What I am really p’d off about is the half a million authorized for a study about the feasibility of
    A ferry operation in Hawaii. Funded by our State. Then we have the $50,000 study funded by our
    Saintly city council.
    Couple of questions and observations.
    The Super Ferry spent MILLIONS of dollars on feasibility studies. And, based on the results of those
    studies, invested over a hundred million dollars on starting up a great inter island ferry service. Only ,after
    following all the state required rules and regulations was shut down by a bunch of mainland hippie protesters
    funded by YoungBrother, and donations made by YB to various politicians!
    This is what really gets me p’od about the blatant corruption in our state.
    $550,000 for two studies. I’ll do it for$400,000.
    And guess what? I’m going to do the same thing that the already decided contract winners are going to do.>
    I’m going to go into the original ferry multi million studies in the state files. Tweak them a little. And submit my
    bid for a $150,000 less, using the same data that the original study contractors used.
    People, we are witnessing a federal crime! And no one is even thinking about investigating!
    Just look to the government officials proposing this. Then look at the companies that are going to be awarded the
    Contracts. Then look at who are the government officials major donors are. surprise surprise!
    This is easy to prove that a federal crime is being committed.
    People this has got to stop. Our tax dollars need to go into our education system, or funding for special needs
    kids.not crooks pockets. Please, this is an easy chance to turn the tide. Am I alone?
    Hope not.

    • This is a clear example of government “pork belly” spending. The term pork barrel politics usually refers to spending which is intended to benefit constituents of a politician in return for their political support, either in the form of campaign contributions or votes.

    • Why would DOT give Hawaii money for a study. Ferry opponents were backed under the table by airlines and Young Brothers IMO. No way it is economically feasible. Unless you are staying more than a week cheaper to rent a car and not spend 5 or six hours en route rather than the 20 minutes on a plane. If the really want a ferry, got a Jones Act exemption and have it built in Korea or China for about 20% of the cost of US shipyards. Ferries only work in locations with high density populations and transit times of about 2 hours or less.

  • Why do another study for the ferry system? Federal money is still our tax money. We already proved that a workable ferry system is possible – the problem was the financial part and public opposition. If a private company wants to develop a ferry system, let them do it at their own expense. Let’s not waste any more taxpayer money on this.

  • The Sierra Club wants to close access to each island because they are concerned about invasive species. No more cruise ships, boats between islands, airplanes or cargo service. Bunch of ninnies.

  • Let’s tag and release about fifteen 10-foot+ tiger sharks the next time any losers try to stop development and growth for the people of Hawaii. Let’s see them “bob up and down for hours” then. Or wait – maybe they will actually have jobs next time and won’t show up to stop the ferry! Nah, they won’t.

  • In 2007, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the Superferry would have to complete an Environmental Impact Statement. Lingle tried, through Act Two, to make an end run around the Supreme Court ruling. The Supreme Court then ruled that Lingle’s end run was not constitutional. The shutdown of the very had nothing to do with protestors. The Legislature then offered to allow the ferry to keep operating while the company completed an EIS. The company declined because they knew, in spite of all of their previous assertions and lies, that they could not comply with the laws. So the company shut down as quickly as they could, giving the impression that their experiment had been a failure and that they were happy to get out of town. Judging by the major players behind the Superferry, it was really a scam by major military-industrialists to get the State of Hawaii to pay for a test drive for ships that they hoped to sell to the Navy.

  • No one here has yet mentioned the real problem with the ferry, that of course had nothing to do with the people of Kauai. The vessel was, and is, impossibly fuel inefficient, which made it a losing proposition as soon as Diesel fuel costs rose above about $1.50 a gallon. Even with an 80% load factor on every single run, the service could not break even.

    The state would have to provide a cash subsidy to keep the ferry afloat. The arithmetic doesn’t work. Do the math yourself.

  • This is the Question : did the ferry damage any of the reefs !
    will the people suffer higher taxes for paying for something that
    did not happen and will it happen again ..Is paying someone or a
    company to look underwater to see if the ferry would damage the reef
    a big investment for the state or the people !

  • As a Maui resident who very often works in Honolulu, I was opposed to, and protested against the original Superferry. Sometime after the service started, somewhat out of necessity, I found myself utilizing the Superferry (all flights were booked, and I needed to get to Maui). Feeling somewhat guilty, I drove my car on so that I wouldn’t have to rent one on the other end, then went upstairs to the seating and lounge area, expecting to be one out of a handful of locals surrounded by tourists and the feared gangs of hunters and fisherman going to Maui to raid our refrigerators. To be sure, there were a few tourists, and there may even have been a hunter and fisherman on board. However, for the most part what I saw were locals, and out of these a significant portion were families and a surprising number of senior citizens. In speaking to many of them I found that most of them were travelling to Maui to visit family. They were taking their cars so that like me, they would not have the added expense of renting one, or their relatives would not have the inconvenience of shuttling them around or lending them a car. This was an affordable way for them visit family on an outer island. I also noticed that 2 Love’s Bakery delivery trucks were on board. I found the drivers, two local guys playing cribbage. They told me that they did this 5 days a week. Two trucks would go over on the first ferry out every morning, do their deliveries, and take the last ferry back to Honolulu every day. I was told that the result of this was fresher product at a lower price for folks on Maui. Yes, there were tourist on board, but the majority of passengers were locals, many going to visit family. Think about it, how many tourists really want to take a 3 hour boat ride to another island just for the fun of it? Some might do it once, just for the experience, but are not likely to do it a second time. As for the hordes of hunters and fisherman we feared, I for one didn’t see it, though to be fair, I am sure there were some. I do know that places I fish on Maui are being depleted by Maui residents from other areas of the island where they have already fished out their own grounds, and that the outlaw hunters we deal with are also primarily residents from other areas of the island. Long, long story short, I found the Superferry an economical and affordable way to travel interisland without being charged up the okole for every piece of baggage or a rental car. I believe a detailed and thorough study of another potential ferry should be done, and I think we will find that those screaming the loudest against it will be the airlines (or should I say airline?), the shippers, and, sadly, mainland transplants, as was the case on Kauai.

    • That says it all. Loves Bakery, and a host of other businesses used the Superferry. Last time I had work to do on the outer islands, I had to put my tools and materials in a container at Young Brothers, fly there, rent a car, ship things back to Oahu, fly back to Oahu, then pick my stuff up from Young Brothers. A job that literally took only a day to do, consumed a week of my time. This is one reason why it is hard and expensive to find good tradesmen on the outer islands.

  • Environmentalists are a major problem to progress in Hawaii. The Superferry is just on example. The need for en environmental review and studies was because of the $34 million spent by the State on the barges. When are people going to get that! The ferry builder did not require the barges, the State did! The ferries were supposed to reverse into the docks to load and off-load but that would put the dock workers out of jobs and not meet some weird regulation that the State has. Secondly, loading and off-loading would be done by the travelers the shippers not Stevedores putting them out of jobs as well. You gotta dig deeper to find the REAL reasons the Supperferry did not succeed.

  • 1 – Sierra Club reasons should be invalidated unless ALL shipping is shut down.
    2 – Matter should be voted on by Kamaaina, and not transplants.
    3 – Cost should not be such an important matter because it did not stop the rail from being rammed through, and a super-ferry would provide vital lifeline service between the islands which would have been a great help during hurricane Iniki.
    4 – A ferry would be able to carry not only passengers, but their vehicles (especially useful for outer-island handicapped people needing to access medical care on Oahu) and consumer goods which could lower prices on the outer islands.
    5 – Careful thought must be given to ayes and nayes to determine which are mostly for greed, which should not be a great determining factor.

    In my opinion, the pluses far outweigh the minuses.

  • I remember the first Superferry landing on Kauai and the Kauai residents met the people driving off asking them to be respectful of their island. Why aren’t they out there meeting people at the rental car agencies at the airport saying the same thing? If Hawaii had done their due diligence with the Environmental Impact Study instead of trying to grandfather it in with the ocean liners (which does make perfect sense), Judge Ezra could not have ruled against the Superferry and it would probably be running today.

    • No, it wouldn’t. It would have been bankrupt six months after it shut down anyway. The only way the SF could work was if the state paid the company a very large taxpayer subsidy for each passenger trip. The shutdown had nothing to do with Kauai residents. It was all about money. The arithmetic didn’t work.

  • The radical environmentalists, and the few people who believe each island is an independent nation or local people from other islands are the invasive species to be avoided, killed the Super Ferry. It was working, providing work for our many of our friends and family, but due to the radical few, we can only dream about an alternate way of uniting our island state.

  • I was on Kauai when Gov. Lingle had her “talk story” regarding the Super Ferry with the community. I would estimate that 98% of the audience were opposed. What really struck me was that of the 98%, 95% of that group were caucasian and probably 90% of them were not born and raised in Hawaii. Go figure. The silent majority always looses.

  • it wasn’t the haole on surfboards that stopped the superferry..they are was hawaiian airlines and young brothers that killed the superferry..they rule this state..they can’t have anyone cutting into their huge profits

  • Mass transportation is seldom profitable and like the rail system, needs government support. The Ferry service report will probably include an important concern for the return of this service, which would be very valuable in event of a major natural disaster and if our neighbor island airports get shut down for any reason. Remember Kauai’s hurricane experience?

  • “Here we go again”…so true !……the DUM-O-CRAPS AT ITS BEST ! Study?, doesn’t statistics already show that without tax subsidies a FERRY system isn’t self sufficient ? (see RAIL) and just because it’s FEDERAL MONEY $500,000 and $50,000 from HAWAII law makers, let me guess, the STUDY is going to cost $550,000.00 right!
    for waste, the handful of dolphin huggers that protest will disallow it. The SIERRA CLUB?…why don’t The Sierra Club work towards assisting and voluntarily maintaining the Maunawili hiking trail?…not just yap yap yap

  • it wasn’t the white folks on surfboards that stopped the superferry..they are was hawaiian airlines and young brothers that killed the superferry..they rule this state..they can’t have anyone cutting into their huge profits

  • “If there is a way to operate a ferry that can guarantee against the spread of invasive species, then we will keep an open mind, but from what we know now, it’s an inherent fatal flaw,” she said.

    Yeah, the fatal flaw is in the logic of the Sierra Club. Based on that inane logic, the assumption is current inter-island air transport and barge service are fail-safe methods against the spread of invasive species. Try a better argument Marti.

    • Just like how the islands in the Florida Keys are connected. Nice concept, but the ocean is too deep between the islands. We are stuck with planes and ships for transportation.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up