I recently travelled with one of the two new ferries that currently ply the waters of the Parika to Good Hope route. I was curious about them, but at the end of my journey I did not regret the experience, even though I was not a fan of such a mode of transportation because of the duration of the voyage and the size of the vessel. However I was indeed surprised and impressed with the service and the time that it took. First there was the promptness with which the ferry departed for its destination, and in this case it was exactly at 12 pm as scheduled. Prior to this there were signals and clear instructions indicating that the ferry was about to leave, alerting lingering passengers they should get onboard. Once inside the ferry I began an inspection and it was first class in terms of cleanliness, sanitary washrooms, seating accommodation and a relaxing atmosphere. The work force seems to be well trained, and they have a professional outlook.
It took the ferry approximately one-and-a-half hours to reach its destination which is a much improved and satisfactory time, considering that the older ferries would have taken twice the time offering less hygienic conditions. This is a significant improvement especially for Essequibians, and the government must be applauded for this investment.
It is indeed very costly to maintain such modern transport and I would appeal to commuters to support this venture since it is safe, reliable and has the capacity to accommodate a large number. The economic spin-off will also be good as business vehicles and entrepreneurs can do business and return home the same day.
However, while I will be keen to use the ferries more often, the challenge remains that their effectiveness will depend on the tides, and therefore in some cases there is not a definitive schedule for their daily operations. I hope that this situation will improve in the near future and that public advertisements will encourage people to use the ferries. The cost as well is minimal in comparison to the speedboats, which at times have to traverse very rough waters. Given the promptness in service, less time spent on the voyage than in the case of the old ferries, and the alleviation of the fear factor in relation to smaller boats, the new ferries are a welcome and much needed service for those who depend on water transport across the Essequibo River.