Ferry is a good idea

We have admired former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann for a long time.

Tuesday he gave us yet another reason to respect him. Just after formally filing papers for his independent run for governor this year, Hannemann said if elected he will try to revive the Superferry.

So far, he is the only candidate we have heard even mention the ferry. Gov. Neil Abercrombie said early in his administration that he would try to form a public-private bond (including the military) to bring a ferry system back to the Hawaiian Islands.

The idea apparently died aborning.

Right now it is virtually impossible for families to travel from island to island. Sky-high airfares and baggage fees have grounded folks. Small businesses (including farmers) have no way to get their wares to other islands.

As retired Adm. Thomas Fargo, former CEO of Hawaii Superferry, noted Tuesday, Hawaii is the largest archipelago he knows of with no ferry system. Ordinary people suffer because of that lack.

As we wrote before the ferry shut down, we had friends and co-workers who used the service to deliver students and their belongings to college on Oahu. Simply loaded the car up and got on board – drove off the boat at Honolulu and went straight to Manoa. Then returned to Maui later that night.

There is nothing approaching that convenience now.

Hannemann pledged that his efforts will include complete environmental assessments before any ferry launches.

We applaud Hannemann for having the courage to raise this controversial – but very worthwhile – topic.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.