Support for the Molokai Ferry is gaining momentum as news agencies inform the public on the unrealistic mandates of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Currently, the ferry is operating twice as often as it can afford to, thanks to near empty ridership on certain trips. Competition from airlines is reducing passengers, yet the ferry is still required to provide trips, regardless of how few passengers there are. Fuel is expensive, and a lot is needed get the ferry back and forth between Maui and Molokai. When the ferry is nearly empty, passenger tickets don't come close to covering fuel costs.
Fortunately, a growing number of concerned citizens have shown their support by signing the Molokai Ferry petition to schedule trips on an as-needed basis. To keep the ferry in operation, we hope you will take a moment to sign, if you haven't yet had the chance.
Senator Roz Baker supports the ferry's need to reduce trips, and recently appeared in an interview with KITV4, where she made the following statement:
"I think what we're hoping to do and what I'm wanting to assist them, is to be as needed on demand kind of carrier, so that when the athletic groups, the hula groups, other folks need to come over and it's enough to warrant a ferry, then maybe that's going to work."
The groups that she mentioned are among the many who benefit from the service the ferry provides. Air travel may be more convenient for some, but not those who have substantial luggage. If the ferry can no longer afford to operate, the lives of many Maui County residents will be affected.
We're glad to see that the ferry's request is gaining more and more support within the community. Hopefully, this support will help us achieve our goal for a realistic schedule that will be cost effective enough to keep the ferry in operation and will continue to help Molokai and Maui residents and visitors travel conveniently between our islands.