Saturday, January 05, 2008


Superferry vehicle count low again

by Larry Geller

Brad Parsons and friends report fewer than 25 cars and two motorcycles getting off the Superferry on Maui today.  There were about 35 cars and one large commercial vehicle getting on departing Maui, he reports.

I'm not sure if there was a passenger count done today.

For sure, the ferry management would not want low counts to become news, but I would love to see our daily papers make the minimal investment necessary to bring us information on how well this ferry thing is actually working.

And to speculate, if they must, on why there is now to be a second run to Maui if ridership is low.

Of course, it could increase over time, but that's what we want to know about.

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On Saturday the Superferry came in 45 minutes early...indicating that they most likely went straight through the Humpback Whale Sanctuary at a high rate of speed.

Even though Lingle's bogus Jan-Apr whale season rules are in effect.

Why? Because 3 people planned to hold a banner on their arrival.

To defend against these 3 young women holding a banner, it required an extra 3 cops and the coast guard cutter to escort the Superferry.

With the absurdly low passenger counts one has to ask the question: Why are we spending all this money on superferry security? Who cares whether it gets into port? (not that there's any indication that anyone on Maui would interfere directly with it.)

And also: Where are all the 'Oahu people who were screaming for Lingle to violate HRS 343 so they could have this ferry that was so absolutely necessary? They sure aren't riding the ferry -- even at the ferry's loss leader rates. Which are continuing for another few months in an attempt to get someone to ride their pukerFerry.

Exactly as we predicted from the get-to when our gullible legislators gave HSF a $40,000,000 handout, the thing just isn't useful (nor profitable) except for a handful of businesses and maybe a couple tourists.

Speaking of big handouts. Now, Lingle is going to spend a third of a billion dollars to make the Superferry and the cruise ships their own docks at Kahului Harbor on Maui.

Incidentally, wiping out one of the best surf breaks and one that is most accessible to our local kids in Kahului.

And overwhelming our small boat ramp with tourists, Superferry passenger parking, etc. etc.

Considering the Maui Cruise Ship Task Force Report showed that we don't want any cruise ships in Kahului Harbor, and we also don't want the Superferry (which isn't going to be around by the time this new dock gets built anyway), wouldn't it make more sense just to tell the cruise ships and Superferry to go make their own dock or go away?

We have limited financial resources but instead of fixing our unbearably clogged roads, Lingle is doing favors for businesses which worsen to our traffic problems.

Can we really take three more years of her rule? Go to and see all the reasons why we need to get rid of her.

Karen Chun

From the times that I have observed it, there was a slight surge in ridership at the beginning and since then ridership has declined. There is very low ridership on average now. I think it is the motion sickness thing. I believe that has become word-or-mouth on Oahu and so even people from there are hesitant to ride. This thing never has had much ridership originating from Maui.

They have to have a little more than 100 cars and a little more than 200 people on each one-way transit just to cover fuel costs. If they can get up to averaging higher than that, then it makes sense to add a second trip to make inroads into their fixed costs, which thusfar they have not been able to cover.

I figure they can go 6 months to a year not covering fuel costs and 12 months to 18 months not covering fixed costs. After that they'll need to sell it to the DoD as a retrofitted JHSV, if they get that contract over Incat. Incat has the better vessels, though.

Aloha, Brad

Oh, you like that, Larry.

A picture says a thousand words.
Check these pics out:

I finally understand why the Coast Guard has been so involved and overly protective in this situation.

Aloha, Brad

Aloha Brad,

What did you find out on the daily, weekly and monthly bond and interest payoff amounts on all that money?


Bob Nichols
San Francisco

"What did you find out on the daily, weekly and monthly bond and interest payoff amounts on all that money?"


Yeah, I'm sorry, I was occupied with JHSV research and counts/pics over the past few days. I will look into your question tomorrow and post to my blog. I remember an article from the Advertiser a few months ago that had a lot of this information, but not all of it. Keep in mind, the bonding on the ferry is private, so I may not be able to find everything on that. The bonding on the barge-pier improvements is public and a seperate bond. I'll try to get something up tomorrow. I need to take some pics tomorrow, so bear with me. Aloha, Brad

OK, Bob, here is a start for you on the expense of the bond. Cut and past it into your browser:

Aloha, Brad
P.S. This is enough info. to do some further calcs on. You can do them and share?


That bond article is:

Aloha, Brad

Aloha Brad,

Awesome, info Dude! Thanks, I can get it all now! I appreciate it. You deserve a credit on this story, Brad.

I've been looking at it for just a while and the whole scheme is irrational on its face.Doesn't the fuel cost $12,000 a day?

If we know, you can bet your bottom dollar the "paper," the Honolulu Advertiser knows, too.

Have you seen this kind of corruption before? Any clue as to why the owner gave the HSF owners a pass?

Who owns the Advertiser, anyway?


Bob Nichols

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