The Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure on Sunday announced the decision to extend Raajje Transport Link (RTL)'s free ferry service period in Lhaviyani atoll.
The second phase of the nation-wide integrated ferry network, RTL, began last Tuesday in Lhaviyani atoll. The planning ministry initially stated that it would begin charging fares this Monday; however, the ferry service will remain free until proper routes within the atoll are established.
Two speed-launches will be utilized for journeys within the northern atoll which has a population of about 11,000 people. The ferries will travel in three different routes, one of which is a dedicated link to Velana International Airport.
Phase one of RTL service officially commenced in the northernmost Haa Alifu, Haa Dhaalu and Shaviyani atolls in August. Travel fares within these atoll are between MVR 35 to 125. The RTL ferry service in Lhaviyani atoll will also have similar costs. The state-initiated service is free for all passengers under three-years-old and for those with special needs.
The state has budgeted approximately MVR 800 million for the implementation of the RTL services.