Monday, October 3, 2016

Federal Funds Will Help State Conduct Study on New Ferries

Kevin Dayon reports in his article Federal funds will help state conduct study on new ferries in the Honolulu Star Advertiser that "The U.S. Maritime Administration has agreed to help finance a feasibility study for establishing a publicly financed Hawaii ferry service, a plan that may reignite public debate over one of Hawaii’s hot-button transportation and environmental issues."

I was quoted in the article as follows:

Honolulu established a ferry dubbed TheBoat in 2007 that ran between Kalaeloa and Aloha Tower during former Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s administration, but the city scrapped the effort in 2009. That ferry ran at about 30 percent of its 149-passenger capacity.

Prevedouros said the door-to-door travel times for TheBoat* were long, including the time needed to get to the docks to board the vessel, and to get from the docks to the passengers’ final destinations. The small boats used for the service were also unreliable, and provided a bumpy ride, he said.

“The people were not pleased with the whole experience, and the passengers never showed up,” he said. “Unless you really have a very good, stable and very fast boat, you’re going to have issues with travel times.”

Prevedouros is more optimistic about interisland ferry service, which he calls “a necessity” for an island state. The Superferry was popular with the public, and the community lost out when it was forced out of business by litigation, he said.

It is unlikely any private investor will want to invest in a ferry in Hawaii now, and publicly run enterprises in Hawaii tend to be expensive, he said. “I don’t like public systems in Hawaii,” he said. “Like everything that we touch, it becomes double and triple the cost.”

In a 2008 comprehensive study of commuting alternatives for Honolulu we estimated that the cost of removing one peak hour commuter from the traffic for 20 years was about $4 million for TheRail, about $1 million for TheBoat and about $80,000 for an express toll lane.

Below is an example of a high people and vehicle capacity vessel operating between the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The study is a $500k waste of time. We know the answer already. There have been 2 ferries from West Oahu into downtown in the last 30 years. Both failed to get ridership. What has not been mentioned is that the HI waters, especially in the winter, are among the roughest in the world. Riders quickly stopped using the ferry in part because they got sea sick and because on some days the ferry cannot run due to the sea conditions. The ferry must go outside the reef, in unprotected waters. Plus, the ferry breaks down 1x every month or so and a back-up would be very expensive to have. People need reliability to get to work. The last time around I had co-workers who road it. In the end, the city was so worried literally no one would show up that they gave the tickets away for free and even paid (yes paid) the remaining few passengers each week to continue. If the seas were too rough for the ferry to launch, the city sent a van out to each passenger's house (they had a list by then) and picked them up. Door to door limo service. As for the rest of the state, if the Super Ferry couldn't make it, no one can.