Hawaii Water Carriers Working Group (HWCWG)
During the regular 2020 legislative session, the Senate adopted SR 125 SD 1, requesting the Public Utilities Commission to convene a working group to discuss and recommend both mid-term and long-term solutions to balance the need for continuous interisland / intrastate water carrier service in the State of Hawaii with the need for water carriers to maintain financial sustainability.
The HWCWG held 13 stakeholder meetings from August 2020 through October 2021 to gather background information on water carriers, Hawaii’s harbor system, regulatory oversight of water carriers, identify potential issues and topic areas, establish small groups/subcommittees for each topic area, and to have initial discussion on the development of recommendations.
The HWCWG’s final report was submitted to the legislature on December 27, 2021.
The HWCWG identified gaps, critical areas and topic areas and then engaged in a Force Field Analysis to develop six recommendations around three topic areas: (1) A two-tiered interim annual rate adjustment for regulated cargo rates along with the requirement for the water carrier to submit a general rate case every three years; (2) Enhancing the water carrier’s reservation system to cover all lines of services which will improve the accuracy of booking reservations and improving the overall customer experience; and (3) Establishment of a broad subsidy for trans-Pacific and interisland cargo, the source of which may come from existing or newly created federal, state, and county government programs.
Working Group Meeting Agendas, Memories, Status Reports, Presentations and Other Material by Meeting Date