Water taxi: small passenger vessel business
These businesses carry up to 12 passengers at a time. Past surveys have identified 126 companies operating 375 water taxis. While critics point to safety concerns arising from the lack of regulations defining the conditions under which such operations should be suspended, users are demonstrating a significant level of support. Water taxi operations vary from region to region and route to route. Existing passenger ferry operators have criticized the service, saying it puts undue pressure on liner service routes. On the other hand, users appear to accept water taxi fares, relatively high considering the travel distance, because of the higher level of service provided. Water taxis are thought to supplement regular ferry services as feeder services.
Standardized formula for subsidy for passengers liner service to isolated islands
The formula of the subsidy to routes servicing isolated islands is based on funding needs calculated from standard wage rates and expense units for operating an isolated island route. Lifeline services that are unsustainable even after streamlining the operation receive funding from the national government (for securing the national minimum level of public transportation system) and by local governments (for securing local public transport services and developing local economies). In order to achieve an efficient subsidy system, the funding process should incorporate a mechanism that creates an incentive to streamline management. It is desirable to disclose more information about such subsidies and standardize specific content as much as possible to make the system more transparent and fair.