Superferry Transportation Study
SOURCE: Dick Mayer (email@example.com) SUBHEAD: The Hawaii State Legislature is preparing to waste more scarce funds on Superferry studies. Image above: A detail of early Superferry website promo claiming passage to Kauai starting in July 2007. It didn't happen. From (http://www.alohadrugs.com/2007/01/launching-of-hawaii-super-ferry-ends.html) [Source's note: The Ferry Study Bill passed the Senate's Ways and Means Committee by a vote of 6-5 (Senator English was "excused". The new Senate draft makes no changes from the House draft but has a new "virtual date" of "July 1, 2050 to facilitate further discussion on the measure" (that will likely be changed later) and NO funding YET. The Department of Transportation could use some of its own funds or potentially some of its Special Harbor users funds to conduct the ferry study. Here is the latest draft] HB 2667 HD 2 SD 1 RELATING TO FERRIES. (http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2010/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=2667) BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII: SECTION 1. The State of Hawaii is made up of a chain of islands, six of which have major population centers. Unlike other states, Hawaii does not have the benefit of being linked to other states through the federal interstate highway system or a network of intersecting state and local highways and roads. With the exception of slow, time-consuming interisland shipping and barge operations for the transportation of property between the islands, the only link between the islands for the transportation of persons is air transportation, with our present reliance on two interisland carriers and a few smaller commuter operations. However, this reliance on air transportation may be misplaced. With the exception of the island of Hawaii, each of the neighbor islands is served by only one airport, and each may be subjected to severe operational interruption in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake. Even the Hickam Air Force Base-Honolulu international airport complex, with its location along the shoreline on Oahu, may be operationally shut down by a natural disaster. For example, had the airport at Lihue, Kauai, been shut down operationally in the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki, it would have taken days, if not weeks, before any major aid and relief in the form of water, food, medical supplies, and rescue workers could have reached the island. Hawaii is too reliant on its present slow water carriers and air carriers in the event of a major natural disaster. While the Hawaii Superferry operation had its shortcomings, a rocky start, and a questionable financial forecast, it proved to be a very successful mode of transportation of both persons and property between the islands of Maui and Oahu. It was the missing link in the transportation system between the islands that is so essential for the health, safety, and well-being of the people of Hawaii. The purpose of this Act is to require the department of transportation to conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing a statewide ferry system and ferry system authority to provide the additional link essential for the carriage of persons and property between the islands of the State. SECTION 2. (a) The department of transportation shall conduct a study to determine the feasibility of establishing a statewide ferry system and a Hawaii state ferry system authority as the primary agency for oversight and regulation of the statewide ferry system. (b) The department shall study various types of ferry systems, including passenger-only and passenger, automobile, and cargo ferry systems, that the department determines are suitable for operations within Hawaiian waters, taking into account such parameters as vessel design and speed, passenger capacity, cargo capacity, automobile capacity, availability of smaller vessels for transportation between the islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai, and compatibility with harbor infrastructure. The study shall also include: (1) An analysis of potential costs and revenues of a statewide ferry system, as well as economic, social, and physical or other effects upon residents of and visitors to Hawaii; (2) Any impact a statewide ferry system would have on the State and the counties; (3) Information on the financing of a statewide ferry system, including the establishment of rates, fees, rents, charges, or any other payments or costs associated with a statewide ferry system; (4) Information on the development of a special fund for the financial self-sustainability of the statewide ferry system; and (5) Information on the impact that a statewide ferry system would have on the other water carriers in the State. (c) The study shall also include the following information on the development of a Hawaii state ferry system authority: (1) The composition of the authority; (2) The rights, duties, powers, and obligations of the authority in developing, coordinating, and implementing state policies and direction for the safe transportation of persons and property by ferry between the Hawaiian islands; and (3) The ability of the authority to eliminate or reduce barriers to travel by ferry between the Hawaiian islands and provide a positive and competitive business environment. (d) The department shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2011. SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050. Report Title: Transportation; Ferry System Study Description: Requires the Department of Transportation to conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing a statewide ferry system and the Hawaii State Ferry System Authority for the operation of a ferry system between the islands. Effective 7/1/2050. .