Monday, July 22, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, October 8, 2016
Can a feasibility study make or break the inter-island ferry?
By Grassroot Institute @ 3:24 AM :: 4599 Views :: Jones Act

From Grassroot Institute, October 7, 2016

During the 2016 legislative session, the Grassroot Institute was one of several organizations to testify in favor of a feasibility study for a new inter-island ferry. Like the Hawaii Shippers Council, which also gave testimony in favor of the measure, Grassroot cited several factors that could make the difference between a profitable (or at least financially sustainable) operation and one that is doomed before it starts. With the news that the federal government is providing $500,000 to fund the feasibility study, those factors are more important than ever before. After all, seeing the rail project become mired in controversy and escalating expenses is an important lesson in how not to proceed with a large-scale state project.

The fact that the demise of the Superferry didn't end popular support for an inter-island ferry system demonstrates there is serious interest in the project. However, if the state approaches the study like bureaucrats instead of entrepreneurs, they may embrace a set of conditions that could kill the ferry for good.

Consider one of the most substantial costs of the project--construction. During testimony, Grassroot pointed out that an exemption to the Jones Act's U.S. build requirement could substantially lower the price. In addition, an exemption to the U.S. ownership requirement could entice an experienced international company to operate the ferry as a profitable enterprise instead of leaving taxpayers on the hook for a state-owned and operated ferry system.

Political considerations could also force the creation of economically inefficient routes (like the one proposed to link Lahaina and Kahalui). Incorporating money-losing elements like this could lead to the conclusion that a ferry is simply an economic boondoggle.

Between the environmental issues that dogged the Superferry and the expense of getting the project off the ground, there are many ways for a study to conclude that a ferry is more trouble than it's worth. Hawaii's political leaders are likely to be apprehensive about engaging in another big transportation venture while trying to deal with growing questions about the rail project.

However, if they look beyond the regulatory limitations and consider how a Jones Act exemption and privately-operated model can change the game, we might just get our ferry after all.

E hana kakou (Let's work together!),

Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.

President/CEO

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii