May 25, 2007
Caricom examines feasibility of ferry

Persons wishing to travel to neighbouring Caribbean islands may soon have the option of a modern, fast, inter-island ferry.

Following a meeting of CARICOM’s Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) held here last week, Prime Minister Dr Gonsalves announced that a task force has been set up to examine the feasibility of such a ferry.{{more}}

Speaking at a press conference following the three-day meeting, Dr Gonsalves, who chaired the meeting said that the establishment of a fast inter-island ferry was a most important element which emerged from the meeting.

He said that the ferry service, which will serve the south Caribbean territories is not being explored as an alternative to air transport in the wake of complains about the rising cost of air transportation.

“The ferry service will not be an alternative mode of transportation, it will be an additional mode of transport, it will generate its own demand,” he said.

John Lewis, the person in charge of Air and Maritime Transportation at the CARICOM secretariat said that such a ferry could create a new type of travel. He says that the ferry could lead to more trade between the islands.

Dr Gonsalves said that the task force is expected to report to the September 30th meeting of CARICOM Ministers of Transportation.

The Task force will examine among other things, the cost associated with implementing such a service and will also see what lessons could be learnt from the French Caribbean territories where such a service is in operation, along with the service that is in operation between Trinidad and Tobago. (KJ)