Wednesday, January 9, 2008

HI Superferry: Letters to the Editor, Maui News, 1/9/08

Three interesting letters from the Maui News today:

"Why does Superferry want to lose money twice as fast?"

"Given the low ridership, the cancellations and the fact that some passengers may still be traveling on $5 fares while less-than-break-even fares are promised for the next four months, it seems really weird that the Superferry would schedule two trips a day to Maui (The Maui News, Jan. 5).

It is clear that the Superferry exists to let their consortium develop a track record as vessel operators, allowing them to bid on a military contract for a Joint High Speed Vessel. The “joint” means the Army, Navy and Marines.

They specifically want a developed commercial design, a high-speed catamaran that can land in “austere” ports, meaning shallow harbors with few facilities. You can Google “JHSV” for information on the project.

A contract for the first vessel will be given this year, for about $210 million. Follow-up vessels will cost $170 million. As many as 24 ships are talked about; eight are definitely planned between 2008 and 2011.

Given the political contacts of the Superferry chair, John Lehman, as head of an investment firm, a leading Republican, and secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, we can expect the government to look kindly on their bid.

My question is: Once they get their contract, will they let the Hawaii Superferry expire of natural causes? And who will lose money on it if they do? I am sure the directors, John Lehman, David Cole of ML&P and John Garibaldi won’t lose money. Who will?"

Sally Raisbeck

Hawaii Superferry chairman...
Do you know who owns the Superferry? The principal shareholder is John F. Lehman, former Navy secretary and 9/11 commissioner. Wednesday, January 09, 2008 12:37 AM ReadFullStory

Similar ferry failed on Lake Ontario and, is now in Spain
Anyone interested in the ongoing Superferry debacle may be amused by the story of Lake Ontario’s now defunct fast ferry “Spirit of Ontario.” Wednesday, January 09, 2008 12:37 AM

Aloha, Brad

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