STAR-BULLETIN / AUGUST 2007
The Rachel Marie, sitting at Aloha Tower, Pier 9, will not participate in the city's pilot TheBoat commuter service until further tests are completed.
New service will be 1 boat short
One of the two boats for the city's commuter ferry, TheBoat, won't be ready for the long-awaited launch of the pilot program tomorrow, eliminating one ride in each direction for the first week.
Commuters wanting to take the 6 a.m. ferry ride from Kalaeloa Pier will instead be directed to an express bus that goes straight to Aloha Tower. In the afternoon, riders catching the 5:20 p.m. ferry will be taken to West Oahu in special buses. The other rides will depart as scheduled.
The same shuttle buses created for TheBoat riders going to downtown, Ala Moana, Waikiki and the University of Hawaii at Manoa will be waiting for 6 a.m. ferry riders.
City Transportation Services Director Melvin Kaku said Friday that they need to conduct more tests on Rachel Marie, the second of the two 72-foot vessels to arrive in Hawaii.
"After extensive testing in Hawaiian waters, we are 100 percent confident with one vessel's performance and reliability," Kaku said in a release. "We want to make sure the second vessel that arrived in Honolulu a week later goes through the same rigorous testing, so we're taking this extra time instead of rushing it into service."
The city also plans to hold an open house for TheBoat today at Aloha Tower, Pier 9, near Gordon Biersch, with representatives ready to answer questions.
The city's commuter ferry service already is more than a year behind schedule after the city received no bidders for the contract and the Federal Transit Administration held an approval of a $3 million grant over concerns of ridership and parking at Kalaeloa Harbor.
Kaku said a private landowner agreed to provide 30 park-and-ride stalls in Kapolei and another 20 stalls are planned at Kalaeloa Harbor in the near future.
The two vessels, the Melissa Ann and the Rachel Marie, can hold as many as 149 passengers for the hourlong ride. Kaku said he expects the Rachel Marie to be running by Sept. 24 in time for riders to take advantage of free rides for one week in a promotional offer pending City Council approval this week.
For the first week, one of the two vessels won't be running, altering ferry schedules.
Depart Aloha Tower
||Express Bus. Shuttle buses will be waiting at Aloha Tower.
||Special buses running to West Oahu
$2 for adults
$1 for senior citizens, disabled persons, children ages 6 through 17
FREE for children under 6 years old
Fare includes two bus transfers. Riders may also use their bus passes.
There is no parking available at Kalaeloa Pier or nearby. The city plans to make 30 stalls available in the Kapolei area and 20 at Kalaeloa Harbor.
The city recommends riders to catch a bus shuttle or park their car near one of the bus shuttle routes.
F11: Waianae Transit Center - Kalaeloa
F12: Makakilo - Kalaeloa
F13: Kapolei - Kalaeloa
F2: Aloha Tower - University of Hawaii at Manoa
F3: Aloha Tower - Waikiki
Coffee, tea, soft drinks, water and other beverages available.
Visit www.trytheboat.com for more information, including bus routes and times.