Economy minister: No money for third ferry between mainland and Hiiumaa
The budget will not stretch to allow the Estonian Transport Administration to buy a third passenger ferry for the Heltermaa-Rohuküla route next year, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) told the people of Hiiumaa.
Hergo Tasuja, deputy mayor of Hiiumaa, has approached Aas several times already, who pointed out a number of reasons why the line connecting Hiiumaa and the mainland needs a third ferry at least in the summer.
According to Tasuja's proposal, the third ferry would sail on a demand basis and be put on the route as soon as possible if more than a 100-meter line of vehicles was left from the last departure.
Tasuja said the ship would be able to make six voyages a day. The need is greatest on Fridays and Sundays, and on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays during the holiday period when the most cars get left behind.
That would mean at least 120 trips a month. Tasuja said that the third ferry would be justified because the number of passengers and vehicles was 20 percent higher in July this year. According to the forecast, the number of passengers in the summer months alone could reach more than a million next summer.
Aas said that the wish of the people of Hiiumaa is understandable and justified, and the addition of an additional ship to the route will be considered in the future.
As €23.6 million is currently allocated to the Transport Administration for next year, it is not enough to order a third vessel on the Heltermaa-Rohuküla route, the Minister noted.
There are currently two ships sailing between Hiiumaa and the mainland, Tiiu and Leiger.
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Editor: Roberta Vaino