• I strongly support creating a public corporation to represent and manage the Alaska Marine Ferry System.
    I am a lifelong SE resident and have used the ferry system extensively to travel between communities for work and to access remote property that I own.
    I do not feel that the current government is working towards my best interest with the ferry system and I think a smaller public corporation would be more nimble and connected to the people.
    The ferry system increases land sale values in SE (for properties on or near the ferry system), carries SE Alaskan into the interior for work, school, etc. where they spend money and help drive the economy, and is woven into the fabric of this state.

    How can Alaska provide a more predictable and sustainable flow of necessary public funding to support the AMHS?
    Fund a year in advance

    In planning for the long-term sustainability of AMHS, how do we define “essential service” for the widely varying needs of the 33 communities served directly by the system?
    Give precedence to communities with year round residence, they have demonstrated intention and should be taken seriously.

  • Thank you for doing the important work of charting the future of AMHS. I would like to know more specifically what the impact of 350 service weeks versus the minimal plan would be. As a Sitkan, I would like to see twice weekly round-trip service to Juneau.

  • I am against getting rid of the ferries Columbia and Kennicott. These two ferries fulfill a very important route and run at or near full capacity. Because they have long runs between ports they become more economical to run.They most likely are the most lucrative routes in the AMHS system.To consistently turn a profit on a particular route should be foremost in consideration, not just because these two ships have a larger crew that they should be cut.

  • Though increased fares and freight charges can never fully make up the opex deficit, every bit can help and I believe most people would accept an increase in fares to help maintain essential ferry service. I certainly would.

    To this point, I would define "essential service" as one round trip ferry per week from the town/city/village in question to their primary port of interest. For example from Hoonah's perspective this would be one ferry to and from Juneau, per week.
    I believe some communities could be satisfied by even less service, such as one round trip every other week.

    In general I think most people who live in small communities will be willing to put up with a lot to keep our ferry. Whatever cuts in services or increases in price are needed.

    I remember what it was like to not have a ferry and being reliant on small planes only. I don't want to go back.

  • The ferry system is essential to the transportation in and out of Gustavus and our community would greatly suffer without it as would the other communities connected by the Marine Highway. If it would make an impact, please raise the prices. We would use the ferry no matter the cost. It is essential to us rural Alaskans who live in places without medical facilities or roads to reliably be able to get into Juneau for appointments with our cars.

  • Hi,

    My suggestions for amhs are as follow:

    The ferries should line up their schedules so you can make connections on other ships. If the IFA gets in at 1115am into Ketchikan but the Kennicott leaves to head north at 11am you have to go to Ketchikan a day early and spend a lot more money on lodging and meals just to catch the boat. There is no reason why the ferry can't leave just a little later. Also, connections with other amhs ferries. The Leconte leave jnu at 7am, other ferries from south get in right when the Leconte leaves not allowing passengers to make that connection and head to northern ports. Allowing people to get off of one boat and get on another would be helpful. More amenities on the ferries with long runs would be nice also. The Columbia has laundry services, but the Kennicott does not. Some of the passengers are on the boat for as many as 5-7 days and that is a long time. Passengers always ask for internet. Charge people, they will pay. Also, hiking the prices of fares up only makes people go away. If fares are lowered then people will actually want to ride the boats and have a good time rather than fly and putting their cars on the barge. Add a bar on the Bellingham run. Or lease the bar out to a brewery.

  • Kofi is a cafeteria worker on the ferry and deserves special recognition for his helpful ways and good demeanor

  • Affordable transportation without flight. Nice people working for us. Get to meet and network with Alaskan

  • Re: generating more operating revenue:
    1) Consider the Ferry as a public utility and as such, similar to the by-pass mail system, parts of Alaska "take the hit" for the good of the whole State functioning successfully. Or, 2) Perhaps the communities served (and this includes the SWest run) contribute additional earmarked funding. 3) Consider designing future ferries to reflect the increased numbers in cargo load, and the decreased numbers in passenger load. 4) Provide sufficient marketing/advertising (eg to AARP, Outside Magazine, or International Travelers) and provide better scheduling options as well as MORE AFFORDABLE/competetive prices for passengers. 5) Diversify use -- consider bidding out the bars to private enterprise as a money maker, or setting asides certain dates when the ferries can be rented out for lavish weddings/events, or offer an in-port ferry as a training site for State government, or use the Taku as a downtown Jnu site for legislative housing. These are just a sampling of diversification/creative uses of a valuable Alaskan resource...

  • Headed to the end of the season with a migration of snow birds, some locals and lot of tourists headed South. The AK reform project poses a question “What can be done to generate more operating revenue while still providing affordable service?” That begs the question is the system affordable for Alaskans? The tourist will spend whatever it takes to come to Alaska but the ordinary Alaskan might not have that disposable income but needs a trip for Medical or groceries,etc. of course the AK business owner benefits from the tourist because they will come no matter what may be less but always some. The system is the Greyhound of the sea paid for by taxpayers in all states but some of our operating cost are from the Alaska state budget. We must take our state residents interests to heart by reduced rates with convenient schedules. It can be run with better efficiencies in costs and run without cutting jobs. Job cutting is an economic killer,(voodoo economics) trickling down to every community in the state not just SE. The key to greater revenue is greater access for all but a heed toward the best interests of Alaskans while balancing the needs of public transport.