Legislature to consider ferry system

HONOLULU — A study looking at the viability of a state-owned ferry system will be presented to the state Legislature this month, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Lawmakers commissioned the $50,000 study last session.

The purpose is to take a look at other publicly owned fleets, such as in Washington state, and how that could work here.

That would be different from the Superferry, a private venture that sailed from 2007-09. It shut down after a judge ruled it unconstitutional without a full environmental review.

The Superferry also lost a standoff in Kauai 10 years ago that helped lead to its demise.

DOT contracted with SMS Research to conduct a “market analysis to determine demand for and price sensitivity related to an intra-island, intra-county and inter-island ferry service,” agency spokeswoman Shelly Kunishige said in an email.

Additionally, the study looks at infrastructure requirements, environmental law compliance, operating costs and financing options, she said. Recommendations will be included.

State Sen. Lorraine Inouye, who was a co-sponsor of the legislation that funded the study, said it remains to be seen if additional research will be needed.

Inouye, chairwoman of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee, also will be looking at who was consulted on the Neighbor Islands.

“I’d like to see who they’ve talked to, what type of information they have already compiled,” said Inouye, D-Hilo, Hamakua, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona.

Hundreds of community activists and environmentalists arrived at Kauai’s Nawiliwili Harbor to protest the ferry’s maiden voyage from Honolulu on Aug. 26, 2007, blocking the delivery of nearly 500 passengers and sending them back to Oahu.

The incident received national attention and confirmed Kauai’s reputation as being fiercely independent and determined to protect its resources.

When the Superferry arrived at Nawiliwili again the next day, twice as many protesters lined the pier and nearly a hundred activists entered the water on surfboards and canoes to create a blockade that prevented the boat from docking after several hours.

The Superferry didn’t try to return.

Some, however, believe a ferry system would create interisland travel options and drive down the cost of air travel.

“We need competition and we don’t have it,” Ray Domingo of Hanamaulu wrote in a letter to The Garden Island.

  1. Smelly bum December 3, 2017 4:55 am Reply

    I can’t wait to get onto that ferry and come bumming on kauai. No one wanted a ferry but let’s spend money on it anyway.? Must be nice not having to think at all during your life if you are a public official. Shameful!!

  2. Theodore Mack December 3, 2017 6:14 am Reply

    As long as it doesn’t carry automobiles.

  3. Charlie Chimknee December 3, 2017 7:40 am Reply


    For starters:

    1.) If they bring a car, they obviously won’t rent one here.

    2.) on those cars, stowaway invasive dirt, mud, microbes, plants,, insects, and rodents, etc., will be no different in impact than what Matson and Young Brothers, etc., will bring.

    3.) Drugs, Guns? Easier by car or truck than airlines. Drug sniffing dogs at Honolulu…?

    4.) Homeless…? The Bus Stops will be full. We saw the Kapaa Bus Stop Lady at the Kilauea much bigger Bus Stop (Southbound) looking like she was preparing to leave her “Studio” for a “3 Bedroom”.

    5.) Almost same time for travel, air vs. sea. A joy for Ocean Lovers.

    6.) Plenty Time for computer work.

    7.) Relax bring a good meal, hoping the chairs are comfortable.

    8.) You know the comfort level in advance for sea or air. Rock and Roll or Up/Down and All Around…go or a no go…!

    9.) Haul shopping goods back in your own vehicle.

    10.) No need rent car/truck on other islands.

    11.) Haul needed material back from Honolulu, no need wait for Young Brothers.

    12.) Danger for Whales and Giant Squid, Massive Tiger Sharks and Great Whites…Enemy Submarines…! ! !

    13.) Are they gonna when it’s DARK?

    14.) what’s the travel costs…people, vehicles, families with keiki and bigger kids, teams?

    15.) Should we vote?



  4. Lawaibob December 3, 2017 2:12 pm Reply

    Can’t wait to hear all the turkeys complaining about traffic on Kauai and grumbling about how their tax money is spent to voice their support for another super ferry. Maybe President Dunce can help the cause by tweeting.

  5. David Presley December 3, 2017 3:16 pm Reply

    It will be a cold day in hell before I, or any of my friends and neighbors, EVER allow a ferry to dock on Kauai. It’s that simple.

  6. Sunrise_blue December 3, 2017 7:17 pm Reply

    I agree with Ray Domingo. “Kaua’i don’t have it.”


  7. Sunrise_blue December 3, 2017 7:31 pm Reply

    1. Infrastructure requirements
    2. EPA
    3. Operating and financing options
    4. Additional recommendations

    How bad can it get? Fishery and wildlife preserves. No damage from first inspection.

  8. Sunrise_blue December 3, 2017 7:45 pm Reply

    If they had a superferry, all islands would come to the Hawai’i Bowl. Ticket prices would drop, but technology would rise. More efficient use of travel or consumer spending. Reduced airline travel means more ships again. Good for tourism. It will be like Canada and New York. Eastern coast.

  9. Sunrise_blue December 3, 2017 7:52 pm Reply

    Vote yes on superferry. If they are having it on a ballot.

    Usually. But then again who’s giving out the crappy checks? Budget time. State planning.

  10. Sunrise_blue December 3, 2017 8:13 pm Reply

    Pro Nantucket. Eastcoast tourism. Inter-island traveler for 40 years. So good deal.

  11. Sunrise_blue December 3, 2017 8:18 pm Reply

    Watch the documentary on Queen Liliuokalani. Dec. 10, Director Edgey Lee. Explains us 200 years ago. Hawai’i.

  12. Sunrise_blue December 3, 2017 8:30 pm Reply

    Kaua’i is concerned with added people. Added cost. Disruptions. Noise. Pollution. Shortage of foods. Loss of greenery. Too busy.

    Still it may be worth it being an eastcoast tourist.

    Stupid. That’s you, westside farm club one on one relations. Even on the blog. We need new ideas. Not oppose Ray Domingo.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.