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Friday, October 7, 2022
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Downtown Ferry to Run Friday, Saturday

The downtown ferry will run Friday and Saturday, Transportation Services manager Kenrick Augustus said. The ferry didn’t run for several days this week because the ferry company was short of boats, but Augustus said it has contracted with an outside company to do the trips. Transportation Services had put up a sign at the ferry dock advising passengers that the downtown ferry was canceled until further notice.
What happens on Sunday remains to be seen. Varlack Ventures, the other company that has a franchise on the route, is supposed to take its two-week turn at the Cruz Bay to Charlotte Amalie run starting Sunday, but Varlack Ventures manager Denise varlack said she doesn’t know whether the company will run or not.
“Sometimes there are no riders,” she said, noting that this is usually the case in the slow season.
Transportation Services cessation of the downtown ferry run was done without Public Services Commission approval, PSC Director Keithley Joseph said.
“They have to get permission from me and they have to justify the reason. And they must notify the general public,” Joseph said.
However, Augustus said that according to the franchise, the ferry companies can cancel trips if they don’t have boats.
“We didn’t arbitrarily not do the run,” Augustus said.
Varlack and Transportation Services take turns on the downtown as well as the Cruz Bay to Red Hook, St. Thomas routes. The downtown ferry departs Cruz Bay at 8:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. It leaves the Charlotte Amalie waterfront at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Varlack went on to complain that the ferry companies face nonexistent or minimal ridership every year during late summer/early fall.
“And every time we have to go to the PSC to ask them,” she said, referring to requests to curtail services.
Varlack said she views the ferry service as part of the travel industry, so the companies should be allowed to decide when to curtail service just like hotels and other tourism industry businesses.

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