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Thursday, November 18, 1999



No more free
rides: Ferry
fares to begin

Next month it will cost
per $3 round trip

By Pat Omandam
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

Nothing free lasts forever, including rides on the new Wiki Wiki Ferry, which will begin charging fares next month.

After more than a month of free inaugural commuter service between Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor and Aloha Tower, the state Department of Transportation will begin charging adult ferry commuters $1.50 for a one-way fare or $3 for a round trip.

A $40 monthly pass is also available. For comparison, an adult monthly pass on TheBus costs $25.

The fares will be good through Jan. 31, 2000, said Transportation Director Kazu Hayashida. He said the ferry is a premium mode of transportation and is being priced according to its value.

The Wiki Wiki Ferry system is operated by Pacific Marine & Supply Co. under a one-year state demonstration project to study whether a commuter ferry on Oahu is economically viable.

Daily ridership figures show the 136-seat ferry averages 57 people per trip. The hydrofoil leaves Barbers Point at 5:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. for 50-minute rides to Aloha Tower Marketplace at Pier 9. It leaves the pier at 6:30 a.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. for return trips to Barbers Point.

Transportation spokeswoman Marilyn Kali said the busiest trip is the 5 p.m. trip to Aloha Tower, which averages 98 passengers. Kali attributes the high number of riders to tourists who have been taking the free afternoon round trip to Barbers Point and back.

Regular commuters can buy monthly passes aboard the ferry starting on Nov. 24 or by calling 848-6360 to charge by telephone. All major credit cards are accepted.

Fares for students up to high school seniors are $1 one way or a $2 round-trip fare. Students can also pay a $25 monthly fee. Passengers holding monthly passes will have guaranteed seats. Reservations are requested for non-monthly pass holders.

For reservations or more information, call 848-6360.



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