Ferries want a fare hike

FerriesThe St. Thomas-St. John ferry companies want to raise the price of tickets. Citing rising fuel costs, Claudette Feron, legal counsel to Transportation Services told the monthly board meeting of the Public Services Commission, "The ferry company is bleeding badly due to lost revenue, and something needs to be done," the Virgin Islands Daily News reported.  Feron adding that while Varlack Ventures, the other company with an exclusive franchise to provide ferry servcice between the two islands, was not at the meeting, it will join in a formal application for a rate increase.

"Paying $3 to ride the ferry is unbelievable today," Feron told the PSC. "It is probably one of the lowest fares in the nation."  She said it has not changed in 15 months, despite higher fuel costs and Homeland Security-related expenses.

Kerrick Augustus, manager of Transportation Services, said the number of passengers has increased 40 percent in the past two years.  More boats, costing millions of dollars, are needed. The rise can be attributed to more vacationers on St. John, more day trippers from St. Thomas and, the factor which is leading to very crowded boats in mornings and afternoon, construction workers.

The Inquiring Iguana’s reaction?  Hmmm, let’s see.  40 percent more riders.  Same number of boats.  Same number of employees.  And they’re losing money?  Must be some kind of special island economics.

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