St. John ferry fare increase studied

6a00d83451b9d969e200e54f93fbd78834-640wiThe $6 ferry fare may not be long for this world. It has not been increased since 2010.

The Public Services Commission has scheduled two public hearings this month to weigh whether to authorize a fare increase for travel betewen St. John and St. Thomas, as recommended by a technical consultant.

The choices are to raise fares or boost the VI government's subsidy of the ferry companies.

The ferry companies, Transportation Services and Varlack Ventures, are not making enough money to give them a six- to eight-percent return, as allowed by their government franchise agreements.  The consultant suggested the PSC figure out what size subsidy would be sufficient or, as an alternative, a fare hike.

The ferry companies have asked the Commission for a fare increase "to meet expenses and obligations," the Virgin islands Daily News reported.

In the past week, there were two "reviews" of the ferry, on Yelp.  Michael T wrote, "Its a ferry.  Not much to write about."  Andrew S said, "Quick & fun ride for 6 bucks each way.   Sit near the exit if you want a quick exit otherwise it can get clogged and you will wait a while to disembark."

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