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Swan wants to preserve East End morning ferry service

St George's West MP Kim Swan has railed against the axing of the East End morning ferry service.

The United Bermuda Party leader complained St George's residents should be encouraged to use public transport reducing the number of cars on the roads instead of seeing their options further limited.

He called for a meeting with Transport Minister

Terry Lister, suggesting ferries could stay in St George's overnight, meaning they would be able to head into Hamilton full of passengers in the mornings.

However, Mr Lister appeared to pour water on that idea by calling out that Government couldn't find a spot where the ferries can stay.

Mr Swan told the House of Assembly: “I was so disappointed to have heard the St George's morning commuter ferry got the axe.

“I would like to meet with that Minister to be able to put forward some logic as to why we can put the St George's service back.”

The MP said that could be followed by a cross-party campaign to convince residents to use public transport.

“It's frustrating,” he said, adding that rush-hour traffic from the East is beginning to bottleneck as badly as traffic from the West.

Shadow Transport Minister

Charlie Swan asked a number of questions relating to public transport, including clarification on why more drivers are being hired while overtime is being reduced.

Mr Swan also spoke of the value of transporting people to Horseshoe Bay or other areas in the West End, including Mangrove Bay and Somerset Village.

St David's MP

Lovitta Foggo, the Progressive Labour Party Whip, referred to the limited bus service in her constituency.

“While I see that there had to be some restructuring with the delivery of service, I feel certain that this Minister will ensure that while one service is cut off, the others will indeed ensure constituents from the area, particularly St David's, will be able to get to their destinations.

“St George's is a heritage site. A ferry link in that area is something that will be welcomed.”

Saying she was speaking as a St Georgian, Ms Foggo added: “We do want a vibrant community again. We would like to see services put in place in such a way that helps St George's return to that vibrant community that we know it to be.

“This Minister is someone who failure is not an option for. I know he will find some way to assist our community in the eastern area.”

Independent MP

Darius Tucker, the Hamilton South MP, said about 160 new residents in Harbour Village would also make potential ferry commuters.

Kim Swan said Bermuda must make sure its partnership with low-cost airline AirTran connecting the Island to Baltimore doesn't go the same way as other past ventures, such as the short-lived Zoom service to the UK.

“Our inability to keep what we get is because we fail in the other areas and that is to find people from outside of Bermuda to fill these aeroplanes on a daily basis,” he said.

Mr Swan praised Mr Lister's move to set up a taxi authority, which the Opposition leader said would help solve disquiet in the industry.

Ms Foggo also suggested Mr Lister makes use of the historic lighthouse in her constituency.

“He might want to consider how to better use this facility as it pertains to providing something in the tourist industry,” she said, recommending summer students be employed there.

East End ferry Warbaby Fox makes her way towards Hamilton in this file picture. Government has announced it intends to cut the morning service from the schedule.

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Published March 14, 2011 at 10:02 am (Updated March 14, 2011 at 10:02 am)

Swan wants to preserve East End morning ferry service

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