Molokai FerryFerry Molokai
The Molokai ferry ends service
The Molokai Princess ferry between Kaunakakai and Lahaina will start its last voyage this weekend after three years of operation. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) last weekend authorised Sea Link of Hawaii's application to discontinue the ferry services, pointing to declining passenger numbers and economic loss. "We' ve spent over a million dollars over the last four years to keep the ferry alive," said President and Captain Dave Jung.
Last ferry ride will take place on Thursday, October 27. Ferry services began in 1986 when Governor John Waihee urged the firm to operate a ferry from Molokai. In that year, the firm was granted $30,000 in state aid per month, enabling it to offer reduced-price commuter train-trips.
The Lahaina Cruise Company's Sea Link is a wholly owned affiliate, and Jung said that the Molokai Princess' present 10-man team will be supported by the firm in other roles. He pointed out, however, that because of the tourist who would come on the ferry for full days vans across the islands, the rippling effect is noticable.
The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) analysed these figures when examining its closing proposal and found a similar decline of 50 per cent in the first half of 2015. Twenty-one opinions were sent to the PUC within the deadline for submission of statements, 19 of which helped the ferry to continue operating. A lot of people mentioned the need of the ferry to transport sport crews to Maui.
Mlokai High School Athletic Director Lee DeRouin said the largest squad that will be affected is the soccer crew because of the large number of athletes and teams, as well as gear that needs to be moved. However, he said that he has been confirmed that Lahaina Cruise Company can still work with them on a charters base to bring the crew to Maui.
However, the Maui crews that will come to Molokai for the event could have the greatest effect on them. Other people who filed a report complained about the losses for the municipality when the ferry no longer operates. Road Scholar Co-ordinator for the Lyman Museum in Hilo, Susan McGovern, said she used the ferry on a regular basis to carry her to Molokai for education as part of the Road Scholar programme.
Although the SEA LINK tried to track the financing of national, state and district funds for further operation, the SEA LINK trials were inconclusive. In the past year, Maui District gave the ferry a one-off subsidy of $105,000 to support its further operation until October 2015, but when Jung proposed to take possession of the ferry to the shire, the mayor rejected the suggestion, as told by the District Council of Commerce.
When the ferry stopped operating, the PUC found that passenger numbers were declining, the costs of flying to Maui were rising and the ferry's finances remained constant. "It acknowledges...[and] Sea Link's obligation to remain open to the general population after the end of state aid in July 1996", the Committee commented.
He said he believed that Molokai would have to give his views if he wanted a ferryboat. Seaklink-offers reimbursements for empty ferry tickets until December 16th of this year. Reimbursement Cards are available on their website, molokaiferry.com, and at Sea Link Headquarters by calling (808) 661-3392, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by post at 1036 Limahana Place, 3E, Lahaina, HI 96761.