Interisland Transport: Hawaii Should Believe in Ferries
OCTOBER 23, 2014·By THE CIVIL BEAT EDITORIAL BOARD
In an archipelago state, an interisland ferry system could help to better integrate the most populated Hawaiian Islands, with an eye toward stimulating and diversifying the economy, improving food security, creating jobs and bringing down costs.
…No one has had a higher profile on the issue in recent months than former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, the Hawaii Independent Party’s candidate for governor, who has made the restoration of an interisland ferry into a signature issue of his campaign.
A functioning ferry system has the potential to boost Hawaii’s economy as products and people move more fluidly — and less expensively — between islands. This could, if done right, chip away at elements of Hawaii’s high cost of living. The ability to quickly move vehicles and work materials between islands could broaden the expertise available around the state.
Unlike the process associated with the Superferry, the next interisland system would need to respect relevant environmental requirements and the governor should make sure a ferry project is done in collaboration with people on the islands that would be affected.
The argument shouldn’t be about whether or not Hawaii should — like islands around the world — have a system, it should be about how to do it best. The people of Hawaii should be able to travel between the islands without boarding airplanes. So let’s be open to proposals and see what makes sense.
The members of Civil Beat’s editorial board are Pierre Omidyar, Patti Epler, Eric Pape, Richard Wiens and Chloe Fox. Opinions expressed by the editorial board reflect the group’s consensus view.