President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih officially inaugurated the Raajje Transport Link (RTL) high-speed ferry service in Huvadhu Atoll on Wednesday. The service, launched in Gaafu Alifu and Gaafu Dhaalu atolls today, is part of the administration's Integrated National Public Ferry Network project. The project aims to connect the country through a high-speed ferry network. The launch ceremony was held at the harbour on Thinadhoo Island in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

The RTL services in Huvadhu Atoll commenced operations in July. The services were offered free of charge from July 20 to July 26, 2023, to allow users to familiarise themselves with the service. Furthermore, individuals over 65, those under three, and those registered as persons with disabilities are eligible for free travel.

As Huvadhu Atoll is the largest atoll in the country, with Thinadhoo as its capital, residents previously faced significant barriers to socioeconomic development due to the lengthy travel time of over five hours from some islands to access services in Thinadhoo. However, introducing the RTL service will significantly reduce travel time and costs, improve social and professional connections, and drive revolutionary change in the region.

President Solih pledged to connect the country through an integrated high-speed ferry network. The RTL services, established by the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), are being implemented in six zones of the country in separate phases. To date, RTL services have been launched in Zone 1, connecting Haa Alifu, Haa Dhaalu, and Shaviyani Atoll in the Bodu-Thiladhunmathi region; Lhaviyani Atoll in Zone 2; and Addu City and Fuvahmulah City in Zone 6. The RTL service will operate 82 vessels for its high-speed ferry service and construct ferry terminals across 188 islands in the country.