AMHS is losing revenue with the higher prices now in place. Our loyal and avid customers have now come to the point where they are saying enough is enough. I hear them loud and clear and so should you. They complain with statements, “we love the ferries and want to use them, but the cost is driving us away as it is cheaper to fly and rent a vehicle”.
Our ferries benefit all Alaskans and ALL Alaskans need to support this vital service. Be it land endowments, gas tax or road toll. Road toll's are used throughout the lower states to pay for bridge's, road constructions and needed improvements. This needs to be apply to state ferries
AMHS needs to service ports in Alaska first and foremost. Let Canadian ferries transit to Ketchikan. US and Canadian custom agents could switch rolls.
Roll back your prices to the 2013 level. Bring back the bar’s and gift shop’s keep your customers happy.
Submitted: July 13, 2017
essential service- Need to get creative. Example- for a port as Chenega bay- use a demand of service with a minimum threshold level. You have reservations to pick up at that port. amount of persons is only 3. Minimum threshold for vessel to go that day to that port is 10. Vessel would not go to that port. Ports that are considerably off of the regular route would have an even higher threshold level (Pelican). Using this type of example you would need to publicize heavily, have community discussions,and post it highly on reservation website.Submitted: July 13, 2017
efficiency of system- have vessels slow down and operate at cruising speed. Design route schedule to accommodate that. A vessel operating at its maximum hull speed will burn a lot of fuel to just get a few more knots. LeConte Aurora example in general will burn 2k gallons a day to operate for 18 hours at 15 knots. Cut speed to 12 knots fuel savings is 600-800 a day. Impact to schedule is null because arrival and departure port for the voyage of the day is the same. The voyage just ends up being longer duration which would help with crew rest periods.
Same concept could apply all other routes with better route planning and shorter lay periods in Ketchikan or Juneau.
Submitted: July 13, 2017
Budget- Use a five year funding approval for general operating fund. Divide budget into sections by ship and shore side department. Have each vessel and department develop and manage their own yearly budget. Key item is to get personnel (end user of products purchased) who spend the funds involved in the management of those funds.Submitted: July 13, 2017
Generate more revenue- Lower walk-on passenger prices to less then half of what it costs to fly with a three week advance reservation. Car decks are full but passenger areas are at most 50%. A walk on passenger does not cost the state much at all. Wastewater argument is null because most of wastewater is generated by galley with little impact from amount of passengers.Submitted: July 13, 2017
Raise the marine fuel tax a few percent to help fund the Marine Highway.
Increase the run times between ports to slow the vessels down and save on fuel consumption.Submitted: July 12, 2017
Please make a regular schedule we can depend on so we know when to expect the ferry to be running at any time of the year. When you consistently make the schedule inconsistent and threaten to take the ferry away and then its running and then its not... we don't know what to expect.
Find other places in DOT to cut. The state is spending millions on our airport and tens of thousands on river name signs we don't need.. and then there's been a survey crew survey the same stretch of road for months here. We already aren't getting our road tot he Million Dollar Bridge fixed.. so therefore it isn't getting maintained... so there's money there. How may other places are getting NEW roads and repaired roads? This is our road!! We pay taxes too!!!
Stop threatening to take away our ferry and make it consistent. It doesn't need to run seven days a week... or 5 days a week... mayeb it can spend a night in Whittier once or twice a week if tha tmakes sense...and only needs to go to VDZ once every 2 weeks(they have a road). It doesn't need to go to Chenega or Tatitlek just because... except maybe once a month if they have a truck to bring in.
thanks for allowing feedback.Submitted: July 12, 2017
I like the idea of a public corporation with a board of directors to run the AMHS. Rates can be adjusted to raise more revenue for the fast ferries, and on non-essential run segments like between Valdez and Whittier which is mostly booked by tourists. Tourists seem to be more than willing to pay higher per mile rates from Bellingham northward, why not apply a higher rate between Whittier and Valdez. I'd like to see more direct sailings between Valdez and Cordova. Personally, i'm willingg to pay 1.5 to 2x as much for the current rate, particularly if the driver goes free with his vehicle. This discount resulted in a lot more bookings on the Chenega and Aurora ships a few years ago.
A public corporation is less influenced by the legislature and can publish a schedule and stick to it for at least a year in advancc. A senior discount should be retained and you should consider a senior discount on passenger cars and pickups as well. Thanks for allowing the input.Submitted: July 12, 2017
More operating revenue: frequent floater nautical miles program, structure rates like airlines do with discounts for scheduling ahead and premiums paid for last minute service, institute Alaska rates or even community rates for those who reside in one of the 2 communities that they are ferrying between (idea is to garner more from the tourists), institute commercial rates for car deck space that businesses eat up with vans and heavy equipment
Sustainable public funding: legislators (and people) from places not directly served by the AMHS need to be made aware of the economic activity in their cities directly related to AMHS ridership - i.e. money spent in Anchorage, KPB & MSB by Cordovans and others coming in to shop, attend kids sporting events, seek entertainment and the commerce directly brought into their cities - businesses loading up on freight and fish being trucked in to be processed
Operating efficiencies: might be gained from analysis of the unions that represent most of the AMHS employees - they need to be well-trained and fairly compensated but presently some of the perks/per diem expenditures might be excessive and could be pared down, not wanting to turn against other communities, but in dire circumstances, if schedules need to be streamlined, connector service between 2 cities with highway (road) access need to be the first such routes cut out or greatly diminished – not service to landlocked communities that rely on the marine highway for transportation
Essential service: as stated above, essential service is to the communities that do not otherwise have road access to the rest of Alaska – these cities will lose population and could even go away without the AMHS, that is essential – cities with road access need to spend time/effort developing economic activity related to that road, not so dependent on AMHS
Submitted: July 12, 2017
Hello, I just left the meeting in Cordova and thought it was informative and lively. I did get to express my thoughts and concerns but for every one I made, another popped into my head. One thing I did mention was pricing. I am an avid golfer and noticed the courses I normally play were more and more empty. It seemed for every dollar added to the price, a golfer would drop one or two days out of their schedule. I noticed the same thing with the ferry, people who used to go to Whittier (always Whittier) 5 times a year were staying home as the prices hiked. That in itself is a double edge sword because the savings in groceries hauled from Anchorage is staggering. Pricewise it may seem too extreme a reaction but we in Cordova are nickel and dimed ad nauseum. For my business, the loss of the fast ferry is amazing. I probably lost 30% of my revenue. I understand things change and I'm not lamenting. Ever the changing world right? I'm just letting you all know the impact to me personally. If I heard you right, you're looking for imput. Fast in the summer if possible.
One thing I have a problem with, and this flies in the face of my concern for the local ferry workers, is the price that is paid for wages and benefits. This is a bone of contention for me. Starting from our local city workers all the way on up to nationally, I think we taxpayers are too generous. That being said, is this an area that can be massaged or am I wrong?
I think some people in the crowd had a great idea of maneuvering the schedules of the train and possible buses to coincide with the ferry. Walk ons may increase. Or car rental businesses in Whittier? Uber? Maybe not in your wheelhouse... Our communities could get involved with ride sharing.
The task ahead of you is daunting. I'm open minded and hopeful. But, I also have a healthy skepticism and really do not like it when "people" will try anything with the thought of we've got to do something. That being said, good luck and I'll see you all on the next go around.Submitted: July 11, 2017