Maui County Council seeks subsidy for Molokai ferry - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Maui County Council seeks subsidy for Molokai ferry

Image source: Hawaii Ocean Project Image source: Hawaii Ocean Project
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  • Ferry from Maui to Molokai struggles to stay afloat

    Ferry from Maui to Molokai struggles to stay afloat

    Tuesday, March 24 2015 7:19 AM EDT2015-03-24 11:19:27 GMT
    Tuesday, March 24 2015 7:26 AM EDT2015-03-24 11:26:16 GMT
    courtesy: Hawaii Ocean Projectcourtesy: Hawaii Ocean Project
    Dave Jung, President of the Lahaina Cruise Company, which operates the Molokai Princess, says the future of the Molokai ferry is in jeopardy as ridership is at an all-time low and more people choose to fly to Maui instead of taking the two-hour boat ride.More >>
    Dave Jung, President of the Lahaina Cruise Company, which operates the Molokai Princess, says the future of the Molokai ferry is in jeopardy as ridership is at an all-time low and more people choose to fly to Maui instead of taking the two-hour boat ride.More >>

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Maui County Council members are taking a first step toward subsidizing the Molokai-to-Maui ferry to keep it afloat.

The council Tuesday adopted a resolution calling on Mayor Alan Arakawa to submit a budget amendment appropriating $500,000 for the ferry.

The Maui News reports the money would come from the county's economic development revolving fund, which has a $1 million balance.

Ferry revenue and ridership have declined sharply in the last six months in part because airlines are offering cheaper rates.

The ferry provides commuter service for employees working in West Maui hotels and resorts. Testifiers told council members it's also more economical for large groups to ride the ferry than fly.

Administration spokesman Rod Antone says the mayor would support helping the ferry because it's important to the people of Molokai.

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