Could it be possible that an idea that was previously botched beyond belief is seeing a resurgence in popularity? Yes.
For those that have already forgotten, the original contentious Hawaii Superferry began operating without adequate Environmental Impact Reports, which subsequently ended in our ferries being sold and the idea sunk.
Our Thoughts: Who was to blame?
In our opinion, there was blame on all sides, but mostly on those trying to speed it through the process. Those opposed to the Superferry didn’t find out and group early enough to stop the massive waste in tax payer money (both ferries reportedly cost over $180 million.) We think that the majority of Hawaii residents were pro Hawaii Superferry, so long as it didn’t negatively impact our environment (whale collisions, invasive species, outer island vehicle traffic, pollution.) Those most adamant about it’s not running were notably on the island of Kaua’i. And we understand why. If we lived on Kaua’i, the last thing we would want would be masses of new cars coming from the other islands on a daily basis. Many people move to Kaua’i to get away from crowds and traffic.
But for those of us looking to visit family on other islands without having to rent a car, buy expensive airline tickets, and limit what we bring, the idea of a safe, environmentally-friendly Hawaii Superferry was (and is) appealing.
According to the Star-Advertiser/Hawaii News Now – Hawaii Poll, 87% of voters think Hawaii needs an inter-island system, 11% said no, 2% said they weren’t sure. We wonder if any polls were done when the original Superferry was shut down.
Why the renewed interest in the Hawaii Superferry?
Superferry news has been a hot topic lately. 3 months ago Mufi Hannemann announced they wanted to bring the Superferry back, and on Monday a town hall meeting was brought together by 2 mariners’ unions. They discussed possibilities and very real potential set backs.
Some of the positives:
- More jobs
- Economic boost
- Alternatives to flight
- Decreased cost in shipping cars and other large items
Some of the negatives:
- More pollution
- Invasive species between islands unregulated
- High speeds that could result in whale impacts
- Increased traffic around harbors and on islands with inadequate roads for masses
- Extremely high cost and potentially another lost cause (more wasted money)
Our Final Thoughts:
Personally, we think it could work if it was privately funded (no tax dollars involved), and environmental impact was at a minimum. Those concerned about a detrimental impact to the environment need to take into account the countless Matson barges that seem to be grandfathered into their current abilities. If those that want the Hawaii Superferry back could help enact stricter environmental policies that would blanket all vessels in and out of Hawaii, this could be a positive move for our environment. On that note, maybe Monsanto will pack their bags and leave voluntarily. We can dream.