Home Local News Culebra mayor: Fix ferry service now
Issued : Friday, March 14, 2014 06:31 AM
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Culebra mayor: Fix ferry service now

By CB Online Staff

Culebra Mayor Iván Solis says government-run ferry service is costing his tourism-reliant island town big money.

Solis called on the Maritime Transit Authority to shore up the service in time to handle the annual Holy Week flood of visitors to the tiny offshore town.

The MTA recently retook full control of all ferry service between Fajardo and the offshore islands of Culebra and Vieques after letting the contract of private provider Puerto Rico Fast Ferries in a move it said would save the cash-strapped public agency some $1 million a month.

The twin-hulled Puerto Rico Fast Ferries vessel could carry 377 passengers on the run between Fajardo and Culebra. The MTA’s ferry tops out at just under 200.

MTA Executive Director José Ruiz García said more passengers are being carried since the contract expired at the start of March.

Solis, of the Popular Democratic Party, counters that up to 200 tourists per day are left on the dock in Fajardo without sufficient ferry service to get them to Culebra. That hurts economic development on his town, where restaurants, taxi drivers and guest houses rely on the flow of visitors who each spend an average of between $70 and $80 in Culebra, he said.

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