Think About It: Ferry Interesting - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

October 13, 2016

Think About It: Ferry Interesting

Now that we know a study will be done to determine the possible resurrection of a local ferry service, a lot of questions immediately pop up. Number one is the financial viability of such a venture. Yes, the complete environmental impact study must be done, and design concessions will most assuredly have to be made to ensure safety for human ocean users, marine life, including the coral reefs and to keep unwanted species from crossing islands with the cars, people, and ships.

But the business model for a ferry service, especially one that is paid for by the public, needs to realistically looked at a number of other vital factors- like weather-related issues including rough seas and the nausea factor that did come into play with the Superferry, and the inevitable bad publicity surrounding it. And if the wait time and embarking time become a drag, people will probably pass on this travel alternative. The good news is that existing systems in Alaska and the state of Washington will be studied as part of the state's homework assignment to learn what works, what doesn't work, and what to be prepared for. 

The bottom line is that this ferry discussion will rightfully include detailed environmental assurances as well as the actual bottom line- can this entity be solvent? Are there enough people interested every day throughout the year to make this concept a winner, and not put a fiscal drain on the populace? After all, we're paying for the rail system for at least the next decade or so, and adding in a ferry service sounds great, as long as the realty proves to be great. Think about it…

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