Tuesday, March 24, 2009

End of the Superferry

The Hawaii Superferry is no more. The supreme court of Hawaii ruled that "Act 2" (a law enacted in 2007 that allowed the Superferry to operate without completing an environmental impact study--EIS) was unconstitutional. The ruling halted Superferry operations on March 19th, 2008.

The Superferry had some difficulties from the beginning. Services to Maui at the beginning were delayed for one reason or another. Protesters on Kauai prevented the Alakai from docking for 9 hours. Once people got off the ship, some protesters damaged the vehicles of passengers. The Superferry suspended services to Kauai indefinitely after that. Services to the Big Island were scheduled to start next year when the second ship arrived. But now that won't happen because of this court ruling.

An environmental impact study is conducted in part by the state department of transportation and all sources I can find say that could take up to a year to complete.

I was able to take the Superferry twice while it existed. On the first trip we didn't take the car, the second time we did. Both trips were fun and less stressful than flying.

In a time where the economic situation of Hawaii is worse than it was during the Great Depression, I find this court ruling to be incredibly irresponsible of the state government. Should an EIS have been conducted before the Superferry began operations? Yes. But to halt service and put around 250 people out of work on Oahu and Maui at this particular point in time seems stupid.

I'll still wear my Hawaii Superferry jacket.

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