H.B. NO.














relating to ferries.





SECTION 1.  The State of Hawaii is made up of a chain of islands, six of which have major population centers.  Unlike other states, Hawaii does not have the benefit of being linked to other states through the federal interstate highway system or a network of intersecting state and local highways and roads. 

With the exception of slow, time consuming interisland shipping and barge operations for the transportation of property between the islands, the only link between the islands for the transportation of persons is air transportation, with our present reliance on two interisland carriers and a few smaller commuter operations.  However, this reliance on air transportation may be misplaced.  With the exception of the island of Hawaii, each of the neighbor islands is served by only one airport, and each may be subjected to severe operational interruption in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake.  Even the Hickam Air Force Base-Honolulu international airport complex, with its location along the shoreline on Oahu may be operationally shut down by a natural disaster.  By way of example, had the airport at Lihue been shut down operationally in the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki, it would have taken days, if not weeks, before any major aid and relief in the form of water, food, medical supplies, and rescue workers could have reached the island.  Hawaii is too reliant on its present slow water carriers and air carriers in the event of a major natural disaster.

While the Hawaii superferry operation had its shortcomings, rocky start, and questionable financial forecast, it proved to be a very successful mode of transportation of both persons and property between the islands of Maui and Oahu.  It was the missing link in the transportation system between the islands that is so essential for the health, safety, and well-being of the people of Hawaii.

     The purpose of this measure is to establish the Hawaii state ferry system to provide that necessary and essential additional missing link for the carriage of persons and property between the islands of the State.

     SECTION 2.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:


Hawaii state ferry system

     §   -1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the context indicates otherwise:

     "Authority" means the Hawaii state ferry system authority.

"Department" means the department of transportation.

     "Director" means the director of transportation.

"Ferry system" means the Hawaii state ferry system.

     "Vessel" means all description of watercraft, used or capable of being used as a means of transporting persons or property on or in the waters of the State between the islands.

     "Waters of the State" has the same meaning as in section 200-23.

     §   -2  Hawaii state ferry system authority; establishment, members.  (a)  There is established in the department the Hawaii state ferry system authority, which shall be a body corporate and a public instrumentality of the State, for the purpose of implementing this chapter.

     (b)  The authority shall comprise six public voting members and one ex official voting member, provided that:

     (1)  Members shall be appointed by the governor as provided in section 26-34, except as otherwise provided by law;

     (2)  One member shall represent the city and county of Honolulu and each of the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai;

     (3)  Two members shall be public members with knowledge, experience, and expertise in the area of maritime industry management, operations, and marketing; and

     (4)  The director of transportation or a designated representative shall an ex officio voting member and chairperson of the authority.

     §   -3  Powers.  (a)  Except as otherwise limited by this chapter, the authority may:

     (1)  Sue and be sued;

     (2)  Have a seal and alter the same at pleasure;

     (3)  Through the director, make and execute contracts and all other instruments necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers and functions under this chapter; provided that the authority may enter into contracts and agreements for a period of up to five years, subject to the availability of funds; and provided further that the authority may enter into financing, lease, and similar agreements for the provisions of vessels for normal and usual commercial terms;

     (4)  Make and alter bylaws for its organization and internal management;

     (5)  Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 with respect to its projects, operations, properties, and facilities;

     (6)  Through the director, represent the authority in communications with the governor and the legislature;

     (7)  Through the director, provide for the appointment of officers, agents, and employees, subject to the approval of the authority, prescribing their duties and qualifications, and fixing their salaries, without regard to chapters 76 and 78;

     (8)  Through the director, purchase supplies, equipment, or furniture;

     (9)  Through the director, allocate the space or spaces that are to be occupied by the authority and appropriate staff;

    (10)  Through the director, engage the services of consultants on a contractual basis for rendering professional and technical assistance and advice;

    (11)  Procure insurance against any loss in connection with its property and other assets and operations in amounts and from insurers as it deems desirable;

    (12)  Contract for or accept revenues, compensation, proceeds, and gifts or grants in any form from any public agency or any other source;

    (13)  Develop, coordinate, and implement state policies and directions for safe transportation of persons and property between the islands, taking into account the economic, social, and physical impacts of its operations on the State and each of the counties;

    (14)  Work to eliminate or reduce barriers to travel between the islands and provide a positive and competitive business environment, including coordinating with the department on issues affecting other water carriers and airlines and air route development;

    (15)  Set and collect rents, fees, charges, or other payments for the lease, use, occupancy, or disposition of any facilities under its control, including wharves and terminals, without regard to chapter 91;

    (16)  Notwithstanding chapter 171, acquire, lease as lessee or lessor, own, rent, hold, and dispose of the facilities in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties under this chapter; and

    (17)  Acquire by purchase, lease, or otherwise, and develop, construct, operate, own, manage, repair, reconstruct, enlarge, or otherwise effectuate, either directly or through developers, any required facilities, including terminal facilities.

     (b)  At minimum, the authority shall operate one high speed passenger and vehicular ferry vessel, with a minimum capacity of      four hundred passengers and       hundred vehicles, capable of operating at thirty knots or more, for the carriage of passengers and property between the major islands, and other small vessels, as needed, for service to the between the islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai and other routes. 

     (c)  The authority shall do any and all things necessary to carry out its purposes, to exercise the powers and responsibilities given in this chapter, and to perform other functions required or authorized by law.

     §   -4  Initial operations.  (a)  The authority, as soon as practicable, shall engage in communications with the United States Department of Transportation and the United States Maritime Administration relating to federal funding assistance and the possible purchase or lease of the former Hawaii super ferry vessels Alakai and Huakai or other available suitable vessels to commence its operations.

     (b)  The authority shall have full access to all the waters of the State for the routes and schedules of the operations of the ferry system.

     (c)  The authority shall have access on a priority basis into all harbors and small boat facilities operated by the department and the department of land and natural resources for discharging and receiving of passengers and property, wharfage, mooring, terminal, and other support facilities.

     (d)  To the extent practicable, the authority shall use the former facilities used by the Hawaii super ferry for its ferry system operations, including but not limited to terminal facilities, ramps, moorage facilities, and equipment.

     §   -5  Improvements and harbor facilities.  Through the director, the authority shall have all the rights and powers afforded the department with regard to section 266-19.5 and sections 266-51 to 266-55.

     §   -6  Common carrier.  (a)  The authority shall have all the rights, obligations, and duties of a common carrier of persons and property in its ferry system operations, including the right to a certificate of public convenience and necessity; provided that the authority shall be subject to the provisions of chapters 269 and 271G.

     §   -7  Rates, fares, and charges; Hawaii state ferry system special fund.  All rates, fares, charges, and other revenue collected by the authority in the operation of the ferry system, including but not limited to the carriage of persons and property and the lease of terminal areas shall be deposited into the Hawaii state ferry system special fund.

     (b) There is established the Hawaii state ferry system special fund, into which shall be deposited:

     (1)  All rates, fares, charges, and revenue collected pursuant to subsection (a);

     (2)  Appropriations by the legislature to the Hawaii state ferry system;

     (3)  Gifts, grants, and other funds accepted by the authority; and

     (4)  All interest and revenues or receipts derived by the authority from any project or project agreements.

     (b)  Moneys in the Hawaii state ferry system special fund may be:

     (1)  Placed in interest-bearing accounts; provided that the depository in which the money is deposited furnishes security as provided in section 38-3; or

     (2)  Otherwise invested by the authority until the moneys may be needed; provided that the authority shall limit its investments to those listed in section 36-21.

All interest accruing from the investment of these moneys shall be credited to the Hawaii state ferry system special fund.

     (c)  Moneys in the Hawaii state ferry system special fund shall be used by the authority for the operations of the Hawaii state ferry system and for the purposes of this chapter.

     §   -8  Rules.  The authority shall adopt, amend, and repeal rules to implement this chapter."

     SECTION 3.  Chapter 268, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.

SECTION 4.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 for start up and operations of the Hawaii state ferry system.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of transportation for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2010.










Report Title:

Transportation; Ferry System



Establishes the Hawaii state ferry system and the Hawaii state ferry system special fund for the operation of a ferry system between the islands.




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