St. Eustatius

Statia Government puts out vague statement in reference to Makana looming fare hike

Makana has proven a relatively reliable provider for transportation between the island. Photo: Statia Government

ORANJESTAD- The Public Entity St. Eustatius on Monday put out a rather vague and little informative statement on the possible fare hike to be implemented on May 15, in case a so-called Public Service Obligation (PSO) contract is not reached before that date. 

Makana Operator Blue & Blue so far has been absorbing the costs after the previous subsidy agreement came to an end, but this is no longer viable or wishful. 

“As you may be aware, Blues & Blues Ltd, the operators of the Makana ferry, has announced increases in fares effective Wednesday 15 May 2024.  The Statia Government is aware of the negative impact this increases will have on the pockets of the travelling public, and we are committed to negotiating affordable rates for the people of Statia”, according to the statement put out. 

The release also notes that there is a steering committee, in which Saba and Statia are represented by their commissioners of tourism and the relevant stakeholders. “This is why, together with Saba, we have been in negotiations with Blues & Blues Ltd for the past months, in a bid to reach a new agreement on subsidies for the ferry service. But, as you may imagine, negotiations are not always easy. They can be protracted, and can be even more difficult when multiple parties are involved”. 


Sources from the BES-reporter however suggest that the delay is not caused by Saba Government at this point, but that all eyes are on commissioner Arlene Spanner, who so far, has not been very communicative on the matter. 

Committed

In closing, the statement notes that Statia Government is ‘fully committed’ to continuing the negotiations in the expectation of reaching an agreement, that will be ‘beneficial to all’. 

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