President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has experienced first hand the major economic changes that have been brought about to Haa Alifu atoll and Haa Dhaalu atoll due to the inauguration of Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) RTL ferry system.
He arrived in Dhidhdhoo on a ferry after completing the national day celebrations at Haa Alifu atoll Utheemu. The trip took 15 minutes on a RTL ferry.
The launch approached the jetty in Dhidhdhoo and was greeted by a large number of people. A special function about RTL ferry services is scheduled to be held on the island tonight.
RTL ferry service in Haa Alifu Atoll was officially launched in July. Ferries are scheduled daily every week with a capacity of 50 people per launch. A ferry terminal is being established in each island to make the journey easier.
Speaking at Utheemu, the President stated that the 40 islands in Bodu-thiladhunmathi Atoll have been connected by the RTL ferry network. He also added that travel between islands has reduced many time over and travel has become easier for the public.
The President said that the difficulties in transport within Haa Alifu Atoll and Haa Dhaalu Atoll have now been completely eliminated. He described Hanimaadhoo airport development as a revolutionary change as it would pave the way for more job opportunities in the tourism sector.
RTL has a price range of MVR 35 to MVR 100 for a one way ticket between islands. Two way tickets are priced between MVR 65 and MVR 225. The price of the trip is determined based on the distance of the destination.
The highest fare is taken for trips from Uligan to Filladhoo, Uligan to Baarah and from Uligan to Muraadhoo within Haa Alifu atoll. The cost for two way tickets to and from those islands is MVR 225.
A total of MVR 800 million was spent on the project as part of the government's pledges. The project is divided into six zones and the remaining five zones consist of 17 atolls, which is from Noonu Atoll to Addu Atoll. According to the government, ferry operations within those atolls will commence soon once the speedboats required are operational