Block Island Times

Court gives RI Fast Ferry the go-ahead

The Rhode Island Superior Court, after many years of legal wrangling, has handed down a decision in the matter of Rhode Island Fast Ferry on April 11.The “case” is actually eight cases, consolidated appeals and petitions that began in July of 2013 when RIFF applied to the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers with a “Request for authority to operate as jitney and/or water carrier” to operate a fast ferry from Quonset Point to Block Island during the summer months. It would carry no freight or vehicles, and meet an untapped market, according to testimony at the Division’s hearings.The Town of New Shoreham and Interstate Navigation, operators of the Block Island ferry, objected.Former Harbormaster Steve Land and former First Warden Ken Lacoste were the primary witnesses for the town. According to the court decision, written by Judge Sarah Taft-Carter, Land testified that “in his opinion, RIFF’s use of Old Harbor ‘would pose a serious public safety hazard.’” He included in the uses of Old Harbor, “swimmers, kayakers, pleasure boaters, wind surfers, paddle boarders, sailing, commercial fishing, lobster and charter boat companies, parasail and banana boat[ers].”

Read the rest of the article on the Block Island Times