Don’t wait for the downtown ferry — it isn’t coming any time soon.
Due to unspecified mechanical problems both Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services stopped operating the Charlotte Amalie run on Thursday, October 8, and it’s unclear when it will resume, according to Public Services Commission spokesperson Lorna Nichols.
“There is no indication of when the run will resume,” said Nichols. “There will be no run until further notice. They are trying to correct the problem now will let us know as soon as the run is back.”
While it remained unclear last week what was keeping the boats out of service, the problem was affecting both ferry operators, which have exclusive franchise rights on the runs between St. Thomas and St. John.
“I’m not sure if the problem has to do with one boat per say, but the problem is something that is affecting both of the franchise operators,” Nichols said.
As of press time the downtown ferries were still not operating. The companies apologized for any inconvenience caused to the public, according to the PSC spokesperson. For people with tickets, refunds and trades were being considered, Nichols added.
The service interruption occurred as PSC officials continue re-investigating a rate increase which the commission approved in April. After the PSC’s ruling to increase the rates on most ferry runs between St. Thomas and St. John was announced, the V.I. Unity Day Group filed a petition with PSC to reconsider the action.
The petition is still pending as a hearing examiner collects additional information. A decision on the petition is expected within the next month.
A PSC workshop is scheduled for October 22 through 24 at the Westin Resort and Villas, at which the status of the ferry rate investigation is scheduled to be discussed.
Contact Transportation Services at 776-6282 or Varlack Ventures at 776-6412 for more information about the ferry times. For information about the PSC call 776-1291 or visit the website www.psc.gov.vi.