A final bon voyage for Honolulu's TheBoat

Steven Burgess
Steven Burgess

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU HARBOR (KHNL) - It's bon voyage for TheBoat. Budget woes forced Honolulu leaders to cut service.

TheBoat's very last trip was at 6:15 Tuesday evening, departing from Aloha Tower out to Kalaeloa. That leaves the average 270 riders who used the ferry per day having to find another mode of transportation.

The ferry service involved two vessels, running between Kalaeloa Harbor and Aloha Tower during peak workday traffic times.

City transportation leaders say more passengers than usual hopped aboard on its last day to experience TheBoat one last time.

In fact, there wasn't enough room to take in everyone who tried to get on the 3:55 voyage at Aloha Tower.

"About the end of that part of the fence there, that's about as far back we've had to wait before and now, they're clear around the - I don't even know where it ends," said Carol Steiner, a rider of TheBoat, pointing to the long line.

"It's going to be a big loss for me coming all the way out from Waianae, with traffic as bad as it is out there," said Steven Burgess, who used TheBoat to commute to school.

The City says TheBoat has carried more than 110,000 passengers since it launched service in September of 2007.

The Mayor has said TheBoat could make a comeback if an Ewa landing is built.

That way, the commute time to and from Aloha Tower would only take 35 minutes, versus one hour from Kalaeloa.

But the Department of Transportation Services says that could take years to plan and execute.

To accommodate former riders of TheBoat, TheBus will expand service starting Wednesday, July 1.

It'll add two more Makaha-Downtown routes for Leeward Coast residents, plus a new express route to serve the Villages of Kapolei.

For details and times, there's a link posted on our website.

As for the vessels, the City was renting them. They'll be placed on a barge at the end of this week, and returned to their owners on the mainland.