Superferry Saved! - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Superferry Saved!

Rep. Hermina Morita Rep. Hermina Morita
John Garibaldi John Garibaldi

HONOLULU (KHNL)- A special session at the State Capitol wraps up with a Halloween treat for the interisland vessel. It took six days for Hawaii state lawmakers to give the Superferry the green light to operate while an environmental impact statement is completed. Superferry executives hope to start moving passengers and cargo in the next two weeks.

This special session was the last resort to save the Superferry.

Members of the Hawaii House of Representatives voted in favor of the ferry saying they were making the best of a bad situation.

Neighbor island representatives take a strong stand on the bill that allows the Superferry to re-enter service soon.

Kauai Representative Hermina Morita believes, "We should not be making laws to correct political fixes gone bad which is what Senate Bill 1 attempts to do."

Like the Superferry divides ocean waters this has created a deep division between islands and political leaders.

"The public interest is served only when the rule of law is followed. Not by changing the law to serve the interest of one company."

In the house there were 40 votes for, 11 against.

Superferry President and CEO John Garibaldi explains, "With today's vote the passage of this bill by the House, we have a lot of work ahead of us hopeful to be started up by mid-November but there is a number of operational, legal, and regulatory things still to go through."

Most employees will be reporting back to Pier 19 in the next two weeks.

"We have a great group of people fantastic a lot of them are awaiting re-hire we expect to have our employees back," says Garibaldi.

Many call it an imperfect measure and expressed reservations. But ultimately they feel it's critical to have another mode of interisland transportation.

Maui Representative Angus McKelvey concludes, "In the end I guess the local people the people who I care about the people I grew up with and at the end of the day I will be with they deserve the right to be able to get to the Neighbor Islands to enjoy the Superferry while it is in operation."

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