Scheduled public ferry services between the capital and its suburb, Hulhumalé, will be cut back once the bridge that connects the two islands is opened.
Public ferry operator, the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company, told local media that the company anticipated a decrease in ferry usage as the bridge would make it possible for anyone to travel between the islands at any time.
MTCC head of transport, Mohamed Nazim, told Mihaaru that the changes to ferry scheduling would reflect the decrease in the number of passengers.
“There will be a change to the number of people who use ferries [once the bridge is open]. We will do an assessment to measure the decrease and then decide,” he said.
Nazim stressed that, as the service is a public one, any reduction in the number of ferry journeys would be made with public usage in mind.
The ferry service to the capital’s international airport will also be reduced, according to the Airport Ferry Association. It has also anticipated a reduction in travellers.
The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, or Sinamalé Bridge, is due to open Thursday night and will connect Malé to Hulhumalé via Hulhulé, the airport island.
The US$200 million bridge project was launched in December 2015 with Chinese grant aid and concessional loans. Maldives Ports Limited is set to introduce public bus services that will connect the three islands.