“She said”, “They said” on ferry fares

Ferry Confusion reigns (as usual).  A note late yesterday from Leona Smith, the Governor-appointed St. John Administrator, said "St. John residents" were being granted "various forms of relief … in anticipation of increased ferry rates on May 1st."  That's when a one-way ticket rises 40% to $7. 

Smith said there would be waivers of ferry fees" to students, senior citizens "and persons seeking medical attention on St. Thomas." Some people took this to mean that the Governor had, shall we say 'persuaded' the Public Service Commission (PSC) to rethink the huge fare increase.  But not according to the St. John Source.

The Port Authority will 'reconsider' whether to go ahead with its other new charge of 25 cents each way as a use fee for the new marine terminal at Red Hook.  There is nothing in the Source story that suggests the Public Services Commission has had any second thoughts on its other, macro-sized $2/fare increase, as suggested by Administrator Smith.

All of which should make tonight's Town Meeting at the Westin real interesting.  VI Senator Craig Barshinger has invited the usual suspects to talk about it all.  The Port Authority, the PSC, the ferry and barge companies, and others have been asked to attend at 6 p.m.  On the agenda are vexing issues like the ferry rate hikes, the proposed turnstiles at red Hook, and whatever is going to happen to the area known as the Creek, on the waterfront across from Natures Nook.

Now … WHERE is that Planner the Governor promised?

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