After many difficulties, the Hawaii Superferry has finally been put to rest… for now.
The Hawaii Supreme Court struck down a new law that allowed the Alakai to run operations in Hawaii waters without an official Environmental Impact Report (EIS.)
The Hawaii Superferry ran its last voyage between Maui and Oahu on Thursday March 19th, 2009. 236 employees were laid off, and no future Hawaii service can be expected without an EIS. The Alakai, which ran for over a year and booked over 250,000 round-trip voyages in that time, will be leased for commercial use outside of Hawaiian Waters or by the US military. Hawaii Superferry President and Chief Executive Tom Fargo has hopes that his vision of an interisland ferry system can be met in the future by his organization, though the possibility of this happening is doubtful at best.
Concerns for the environment as well as danger to our visiting Humpback Whales has raised concerns particularly with both Kauai and Maui residents. Protests and legal action have ensued from environmental groups after the state exempted the Hawaii Superferry from having any type of environmental review in 2005. Controversy has grown seeing that the State had dealing with the Hawaii Superferry as far as investments.
From the beginning, the Hawaii Superferry has been a Maui Lawyers dream situation. This will continue to be litigated over for years if the owners feel like putting the time into it. Though it looks like they’re going to pursue other ways of making money. The way things have been going, we can’t blame them.