Hawaii Superferry to Resume Service

It looks like the owner of a red VW bug will not be getting his wish this year… the Hawaii Superferry is set to resume service. The Associated Press tells us;

Hawaii’s new inter-island ferry, idled for weeks by protesters and court rulings, will resume daily service between Honolulu and Maui beginning Dec. 1, the company said.

The announcement Friday came two days after a state judge ruled that the Hawaii Superferry can use Maui’s Kahului Harbor while an environmental assessment is being completed.

“We appreciate the support we’ve received from everyone who shares the vision of uniting our islands and families by sea,” Hawaii Superferry President and CEO John Garibaldi said. “Hawaii Superferry and its more than 300 employees look forward to a new beginning.”

Fred Fry had broken this story a few days ago but we have been waiting on a smaller decision by local courts before announcing the news. Yesterday that happened:

A Maui judge today lifted his previous order that only two vehicles per minute would be allowed to exit from the Hawaii Superferry site at Kahului Harbor.

The restriction was put in place in August by Maui Circuit Judge Joel August to address worries about congestion at one of the island’s busiest intersections. The two-vehicles-per-minute rule was opposed by ferry and state officials because it might cause lengthy delays for arriving passengers and could perhaps interfere with the high-speed catamaran’s turnaround time.

When the company’s 350-foot catamaran, Alakai, came to Maui on Aug. 27 – the last time it sailed to Kahului – it took 55 minutes to get the nearly 90 disembarking vehicles onto public roads instead of the 20 minutes predicted by ferry officials.

August today said he would drop the rule, ordering the state Department of Transportation instead to provide three trained personnel to manage the traffic flow based “on real-time conditions.” The 350-foot vessel is due to resume Maui service Dec. 1. The ferry will depart Honolulu at 6:30 a.m. and arrive at Kahului Harbor three hours later. (Read more from The Honolulu Advisor)

If your looking to catch up to speed on the reasons behind the shutdown take a look at the comments found HERE.