The Port Authority yesterday announced that it will issue an invitation to tender for the provision of a suitable passenger and vehicle fasy ferry today. In a statement, the Authority said its board and mangement, together with the Inter-island Transportation Company Limited (TTIT) recognise this is important because the need to update its fast ferries to ensure uninterrupted, safe and reliable service on the domestic seabridge.
The Authority said the TT Spirit went on dry-dock in June while the TT Express is continuing its operations on the seabridge. Noting that both vessels were scheduled to undergo mandatory dry-docking between June and November, the Authority said the Express will proceed to its dry-docking once the Spirit returns to service. The Authority said the operations of the Express are being supplemented by a passenger service from one of the water-taxis at this time.
In June, the Works and Transport Ministry awarded a contract for a one year time charter to the Cabo Star, to transport cargo comprising commercial trucks, vans and containers on the seabridge. The Authority said the introduction of the Cabo Star has seen the transportation of this type of cargo between Trinidad and Tobago return to, "a regular and reliable service." The Authority also said its data shows there has been excess capacity on the seabridge between June and August. The Authority encouraged its customers to ensure that passenger and cargo requirements are met.
From June 1 to August 27, the Express transported 840 passengers and 180 vehicles, with respective daily throughputs of 614 and 153. For the same period, the Cabo Star transported 100 passengers and 300 vehicles. The water taxi transported 305 passengers.
From August 1 to 27, the Express transported 42,218 passengers and 8,531 vehicles per trip. The passenger and vehicle capacities of the Express are 45,360 passengers and 9,720 vehicles per trip respectively. The Cabo Star transported 3,835 passengers and 5,826 vehicles during the same period. This vessel's passenger and vehicle capacities are 4,400 passenger and 13,200 vehicles per trip respectively. The water taxi has a capacity to take 1,220 passengers per trip. However from August 1 to 27, it only transported 791 passengers.