The cost of the St. John ferry has gone up 50 cents. It could go higher.
The Port Authority has instituted a half-dollar per passenger charge as a cost for using the new Marine terminal. The new charge is levied not by the ferry companies, but by the Port Authority, which manages the ports. That makes the cost of a ride $5.50.
The move has incensed Sen. Carmen Wesselhoft, a St. John resident. "We can no longer … allow the Port Authority … to use the residents of St. John as a cash cow for their lack of prudent management," Wesselhoft wrote in a Guest Opinion in the Virgin Islands Daily News. She wants the Authority to allow an accounting of collected fees and "detailed information …, exactly how these revenues will be utilized." Wesselhoft’s column.
But wait, there’s more!
An attorney for one of the St. John ferry companies warned it may raise fares a dollar more. Claudette Feron, an attorney for Varlack Ventures, told a Senate committee the ferry operators have sustained heavy financial losses for years but have not been given VI and federal government subsidies to which they are entitled. If the money doesn’t come soon (‘soon come’?), she said, the companies will have to offset their costs by raising fares and ending discounts for commuters, students and senior citizens, the St. John Source reported. Full story.