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PSC Slates Ferry Meeting for May 12

May 6, 2009 – After postponing a Public Services Commission meeting on ferry rate increase planned for Tuesday, the PSC announced the hearing will now be held at 6 p.m. May 12 at the Legislature building on St. John.
The agenda includes a request for reconsideration of the Public Services Commission’s April decision to increase passenger ferry rates on government assigned franchise routes between St. Thomas and St. John. The request for reconsideration was made by St. John's Unity Day Group.
PSC spokesman Lorna Nichols said the Unity Day Group is scheduled to address the PSC, but others at the meeting will also have a chance.
"I hope, based on testimony, that some corrective action will be taken. We don't want to get into the courts," Unity Day Group President Lorelei Monsanto said.
The rates are set to increase from $5 to $7 each way between Red Hook on St. Thomas and Cruz Bay on St. John, but decrease from $10 to $8 on the Charlotte Amalie to Cruz Bay run.
Two companies, Transportation Services and Varlack Ventures, share the government approved franchise on both routes.
Since the rate increases were announced, the Unity Day Group and many members of the community spoke out about the adverse impact the increase would have on St. John residents. Those residents must go to St. Thomas for various services, shopping and other matters because they're not available on St. John. Additionally, many St. John residents commute to St. Thomas for work.

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