The National Ferry System or Raajje Transport Link (RTL) services have been officially launched.
The RTL system will be implemented over three phases by Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC). The first phase, launched on Sunday, links Haa Alif, Haa Dhaalu, and Shaviyani atoll.
MTCC said the company is preparing to link the entire country with the Integrated National Public Ferry Network before the end of September this year, after enhancing the services in the three northernmost atolls next month. The national ferry system will connect the islands by commute, non-commute, and highway links.
Commute links are daily trips between nearby islands, while non-commute links are journeys between two islands that are a bit farther apart in distance. This includes non-daily airport trips and business trips. Highway links are long journeys that connect the transport hub of one region to the transport hub of another.
The division of zones under RTL:
Zone One: Ha. | HDh. | Sh.
Zone Two: N. | R. | B. | Lh.
Zone Three: K. | Aa. | ADh. | V.
Zone Four: M. | F. | Dh. | Th. | L.
Zone Five: Ga. | GDh.
Zone Six: Fuvahmulah | Addu City
MTCC has arranged for tickets to be booked and paid under the national ferry system through a portal in the RTL application. Children under three and people with disabilities can ride the ferries free of charge.
The high-speed ferries in MTCC's fleet used in the RTL system have a capacity of 50 passengers and are comfortable for passengers. The ferries have mobile phone charging outlets, toilets, and luggage space. Special arrangements have been made on the ferries for people with special needs.