Commissioners of two VI departments agree that this is no time to raise ferry fares.
Statements against proposed rate increases were released by Gov. John de Jongh although he, personally, did not say he's against them.
The Commissioners of Licensing and Consumer Affairs and Public Works did.
DCLA chief Wayne Biggs wrote to the Public Service Commission, which is weighing the requests from Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services, saying "Our residents cannot currently entertain any … additional burdens."
Darryl Smalls, head of Public Works, agreed. He said, "The department recommends that the current fare structure remains the same," although he did encourage the ferry companies services to seek more subsidy money from the VI government.
DLCA chief Biggs explained his opposition citing the recession and its impact on St Johnians (and visitors). "The current cost of basic needs is substantially higher … Power and basic utilities have also increased significantly. Prices at the grocery checkout are easily described as astronomical." He also pointed out St. John’s relative reliance on St. Thomas … places its residents in a unique situation where frequent travel to St. Thomas is a necessity rather than a luxury."