Koninkrijk.nu reports that the Island Council of Statia is very critical of the Makana ferry project, which is being set up thanks to a subsidy from The Hague. Besides being critical of the delays in the project, the island council members are not only skeptical about the ferry’s chances of survival but also about the choices made along the route.
“We asked for more airlift, but we got a ferry”, Clyde van Putten summarized the sentiments of himself and his colleagues in the Island Council. The councilor fears that the use of the ferry will be used as an excuse by, among others, the government in The Hague, for not having to do anything about the inadequate and expensive flight connections.
Colleague Koos Sneek is also very critical. “This project was once again conceived by Dutch civil servants who have absolutely no idea what the priorities are here,” says Sneek. Sneek also believes that the ferry is more in the interest of neighboring island Saba than of Statia. The crossing to Sint Maarten from Statia will take about 2.5 hours each way. That is considered by many to be long.
Leader of the PLP faction in the Island Council, Rechelline Leerdam, particularly wanted to know whether there was a chance that the connection would be continued after the subsidy period. “When I hear that a return ticket by ferry already costs $85, I don’t want to know what it will cost when the subsidy ends,” says Leerdam. The Makana ferry can carry 150 passengers. Leerdam also wondered what would happen if the Makana turns out to be far too large compared to the number of passengers that will use it.
Maybe the Statia Council should contact the Dutch Government to possibly just move Statia closer to St. Maarten or maybe just build a nice bridge.