Editorial: an embarrassingly bumpy beginning

PHOTO: Peeter Langovits

Picture a big public procurement for purchasing computers. Initiators say that office work will reach new levels of effectiveness. Turns out, the new hardware is late but the old computers have been hauled away by other departments or outright amortized. On the morning of The Day, IT-chief stands before the staff, an old slow computer in arms, and with his voice shaky says please be strong and don't give up. Bosses higher up the ladder explain that «change always hurts», «the work will get done» and, after all, the entire situation is the fault of those who worked here before them. 

Well we have something like this right now with the mainland to islands ferryboat traffic about to enter new era come October. With the state assuming operations from entrepreneur Vjatšeslav Leedo, for quite a while we are aware that the four new ferries being built in Turkey and Poland will be late.  

But then a boat called Regula which took over from the Soviet time tank carriers 19 years ago, is back on the frontline again. Soon half a century old, Regula has been goon for Estonia and ships wear out not as fast as buses or planes.

Even so, it is quite a step back from the new ones we had in operation these past years. Especially for the local island folks whose entire life hangs on the mainland connection. In other words, the purchase of Regula (to the fifth ship as TS Laevad is tirelessly stressing) may not be wrong, but the new era promised is having a bumpy entry indeed.

And instead of telling us plainly that things are bad, they keep trickling the news so that even the reasonable now looks silly.

We the people were promised a service more effective, cheaper, and more transparent. Doubtless, the public would wish to know how much the «buying out» will cost us. Anyway, the up to six million euros paid for Regula to the businessman’s company have now been added to the bill. And we do not know the final sum as they are talking about temporary contracts including with the current operator.

And what will be the quality of the service – how smooth the ticket sales, how long the trip? How well have the vessels been designed, and how good the hurried construction? Sure, before October rolls around we may not draw a conclusion; even so, the skies above the decision makers looks rather dark. And the top important issue is who is responsible. And it is not so much the battered spokesmen of TS Laevad, but the politicians all the way to economy and prime minister.