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Puerto Rico Ferry reports 34% increase in passenger traffic through September

Puerto Rico Ferry announced that, as of Sept. 20, it had surpassed the total number of passengers for 2022, exceeding last year’s figures more than three months early.

To date, the number of passengers is 1.2 million and 81,000 cargo units, marking a 34% year-over-year increase, the company stated.

The increase in passenger numbers is consistent across all maritime transportation system services, both for the Cataño ferry and those connecting Puerto Rico to the island-municipalities of Vieques and Culebra. Those trips between the islands transported more than 155,000 additional passengers compared to the previous year.

“Surpassing a year’s passenger numbers in just nine months is an outstanding achievement for our local crew and a sign that the system continues to increase its capacity as upgrades, maintenance programs and consistent policies come into effect,” said Matt Miller, president of HMS Ferries Puerto Rico, which operates the ferry system for the Integrated Transportation Authority (ATI, in Spanish).

“The maritime transportation system, under the public-private partnership, is demonstrating that it can meet the needs of the people of Puerto Rico even as we continue to make the necessary improvements for long-term sustainability,” he added.

This announcement followed ATI’s recent update on its ticket transfer policy, aimed at maximizing the use of available seats by increasing the transferability of unused tickets.

Beginning Oct. 8, passengers on the island route can transfer unused tickets up to four hours before departure. They can manage ticket purchases and transfers online, at the Puerto Rico Ferry ticket office, or through the City Experiences app.

The enhanced ticket availability aligns with further service improvements such as upgraded terminals and waiting areas, better schedule reliability and a high on-time departure rate, Miller said.

“Our local team continues to transform the system daily,” Miller said. “While steady progress is being made, this increase in user numbers and our team’s ability to sustain reliability and consistency are excellent signs for the future of the system.”

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