Ferry Increases Price Again
Those who travel by car or truck aren’t the only victims of the high gas prices – skyrocketing oil rates have forced Sea Link Hawaii, who runs the Molokai Princess between Maui and Molokai, to raise their ferry fares yet again.
The increased fuel surcharge brings up a one-way adult fare to $63.60, from $59.36, effective May 1. They last increased their rates effective in January 2011.
“Our base prices remain the same,” said Dave Jung, general manager of Sea Link. “We hate to do it, that’s just how it has to be – if fuel goes up, makes it harder and harder for people to travel.”
Jung said their regular commuter numbers have not changed lately, with around 40 people per trip in the evenings. Molokai resident Linda Rin, who works at the Westin Ka`anapali Ocean Resorts, commutes to Maui every day. Her employer pays a portion of her daily fare, and Rin said she will not have to pay more out of pocket to cover the surcharge increase.
“Thank goodness, or we’d have to stay here,” Rin said as she got off the ferry last Friday.
Jason Liu said he finds the increase ridiculous. A carpenter by trade, Liu goes between Maui and Molokai every few months, looking for work on Maui.
“[The prices] make it harder to come back and forth, but it’s cheaper than the airlines,” he said.
Jung said he has appealed to Sen. Dan Inouye to help curb the influence of oil speculators, which Jung said drives up the price more than actual oil consumption, a phenomenon he called “really sad.”
Jung stressed the importance of Hawaii becoming energy independent. He said other options, such as electric or sailing power, or using a smaller boat, just aren’t practical. Sea Link uses $2,000 a day for diesel fuel.
“What are we going to do in 10 years – wages are not going up 10 times but I can see price of fuel going up 10 times,” Jung said.