Hello everyone, here is some news for you all regarding the status of the car barges. The following was written by Junior Boynes, of the St. John Car Ferry Association:
To the daily riders of the car ferry service. On behalf of the Car Ferry association we deeply apologize for the inconvenience that you are experiencing while we get our vessels back up and running since the storms. Sadly, 80% of us are still in the recovery and rebuilding phase. The Car Ferry Association has suffered tremendously with so many of our vessels being damaged. As we try to get these vessels back in order we can’t seem to move fast enough. The Public need to realize that the officials controlling the building, inspecting and authorizing the operations of the vessels are totally out of our control. Our companies just like most businesses around the islands have invested millions of dollars into our vessels and daily operations. We are local businesses who have served these Virgin Islands for more than 40 years and is still serving.
It is very easy to say: (“have them regulated by the PSC”)! Sadly, the local/federal government have not assisted, provide or protect these companies or their investment into the car ferry industry. The companies have struggled on their own and invested millions of their own. So hopefully any election process would be for getting assistance for the local car ferry companies who has invested over the years.
It is easy to say allow another company to come and operate. The three companies that are currently operating is struggling as is. We have already invested our monies in replacing, rebuilding and repairing equipment. So, another company coming in would adds more hardship to an industry that is already financially strained. We cannot handle a fourth company operating here.
More than 40+ years ago Boyson and Blue lines made schedules to accommodate their perspective customers. To date the Port Authority has honored the companies’ schedules to help maintain order over the use of the docks. VIPA is in charge of the Ports not the local residents.
In an effort to continue to move commerce the companies are working diligently with what vessels we have and are moving as fast as possible to get the repaired/built vessels on track. Global Marine is currently operating the General II and expects to have their other vessel operational shortly. LCCF is repairing the Capt. VIC and will have the Grand VIC in the VI within days. Boynes family will have the Cheri B right after. At that point the 3 companies will have their perspective schedules back operational. We understand that having these vessels operational is an immediate need. The companies have already invested millions on their equipment and repairs to service the needs of our community.
Again, we deeply apologize for the inconvenience the delays has caused.
St. John Car Ferry Association: Boyson – Love City Car Ferries – Global Marine
Well folks, definitely some positive news today! And speaking of a potentially fourth company, we know for certain that a couple of residents are currently securing yet another barge. We will have more info on that when we are given the green light to share. In the meantime, keep renting your vehicles on St. John and have a wonderful day everyone!