POSTED: 17 JANUARY 2008 - 9:30am HST

Hawaii ferry cancels 2nd daily Maui trip

image above: paddlers canoes in foreground, "Superferry" and "Pride of America" in background

by staff on 15 January 2008 for The Honolulu Advertiser

Ten days after announcing it would start a second daily trip between Maui and O'ahu, the Hawaii Superferry reversed course yesterday, putting the additional service on hold.

The Superferry said opposition from Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares caused it to delay launch of the second trip. "The company anticipates starting the second voyage later this spring," the Superferry said in a news release. The second Maui trip was to help the Superferry make up for lost business due to its inability to sail to Kaua'i. The ferry postponed service to Kaua'i in August after protesters blocked its entrance into Nawiliwili Harbor.

In announcing the second trip to Maui on Jan. 4, John Garibaldi, president and CEO of Hawaii Superferry, said "our business model is dependent on running two trips per day."

But the Maui mayor objected to the second trip, saying the Superferry had not consulted the community and had not fully considered the impact on traffic.

"The community should have a say in something as significant as a second trip to Maui," Tavares said in a news release yesterday. "Particularly when it is so soon after the start of the one daily trip that remains a contentious matter in our community with unresolved issues."

Tavares added, "It is my hope that the company will use this time to reach out to our county and community to address ongoing concerns about traffic impacts, environmental issues and the affect daily trips by the Superferry has to harbor users before adding a second daily trip."

The Superferry had said it wanted to add a second voyage between Maui and O'ahu to boost ridership and cater to growing interest among businesses and other customers.

Terry Halloran, director of business development for Hawaii Superferry, estimated earlier this month that the vessel has been averaging about 200 passengers per trip. The vessel has a capacity of 866 passengers and 282 vehicles.

The company initially started service with its ship the Alakai in late August but was halted by legal challenges on Maui and the protests on Kaua'i. In October, the company laid off 249 of its 308 employees after saying it was losing $650,000 per week.

The Superferry resumed Maui service December 13th but has not set a date to restart service to Kaua'i.

The Superferry announcement of a second daily Maui trip also raised concerns the 349-foot vessel will strike humpback whales while it travels through the whale sanctuary at night, said Irene Bowie, executive director of Maui Tomorrow.

The two spotters placed on the Superferry to avoid whales will not be effective at night at the speeds the Superferry travels, even if the spotters use night vision equipment as the company has proposed, Bowie said. "I think it's a real issue for them to be traveling at 25 knots through sanctuary waters after dark," Bowie said.

Maui Tomorrow is one of three plaintiffs that went to court to try to force the state Department of Transportation to complete an environmental impact statement on the Superferry before the vessel began operations.

The Superferry originally was to begin operating the second Maui trip tomorrow, leaving Honolulu at 3:15pm and arriving in Kahului at 7, and departing Kahului at 8:00pm and arriving in Honolulu at 11:00pm.

"Customers who have made reservations for travel on the second Maui voyages are being contacted and will be either issued refunds or accommodated on an alternative voyage," the company said.



POSTED: 17 JANUARY 2008 - 7:30am HST

Weather cancels Maui HSF trips again

by Brad Parsons on 16 January 2008

Well, all harbor improvements were $40 million and that barge is a good portions of that no doubt. The barge-pier design is fundamentally flawed, it was a quick design that DOT did not adequately take into account the wave surge that takes place in Kah. harbor 10% of the days of the year.

A proper EIS would have helped to select a proper loading design from the pier to the vessel. I believe this barge was also selected because is required no significant physical changes to the pier, the physical changes to the Pier of which DOT felt would have triggered an EIS for sure. They thought by using the barge, they could avoid an EIS.


Superferry cancels tomorrow's Maui trip
by Christie Wilson on 16 January 2008 in The Advertiser

Large waves in Kahului Harbor forced the Hawaii Superferry to canceled its roundtrip Honolulu-Maui service today and tomorrow, according to a Department of Transportation official. A state-owned barge used to load and unload vehicles from the 350-foot high-speed catamaran sustained minor damage as a result of large swells within the harbor, according to Michael Formby, DOT deputy director for harbors.

A full assessment of the damage is not yet available, and an estimate of repair costs and timing will not be known until an inspector can examine the barge, Formby said. The pier and barge repairs will have to get Coast Guard approval before being put back into use, he said.

Similar harbor surge conditions in early December resulted in damage to the pier and barge and delayed the restart of Hawaii Superferry service by a week.
Rough seas in the open ocean along the ferry route forced the company to cancel service four days in a row in late December.



see also:
Island Breath: HSF night trips
Island Breath: HSF militiary trips
Island Breath: HSF EIS Smoking Gun
Island Breath: HSF two trips
Island Breath: Maui Demostrations
Island Breath: Maui Service Begins
Island Breath: Maui Service Postponed
Island Breath: Maui Planning Demo
Island Breath: Ti Party a big success
Island Breath: Ti Party to be held
Island Breath: Banana Republic
Island Breath: One more HSF Hurdle
Island Breath: Legislature OKs Superferry
Island Breath: Special Session on HSF
Island Breath: Conditions for Special Session
Island Breath: News of September 25-26 9/25/07