Alaska Marine Highway Feedback Needed

Southeast Conference


News Release
For Further Information Contact:
Robert Venables, Southeast Conference
(907) 586-4351

The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) is at a critical juncture. For more than 50 years, state ferries have connected residents and resources in coastal communities with Alaska’s economic and service hubs. Operating weeks and reliability have declined steadily due to budget reductions and an aging fleet.

The AMHS Reform Initiative was launched in 2016 when Governor Walker signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Southeast Conference to identify structural changes to improve the long-term viability of AMHS. A 12-member steering committee was appointed, bringing statewide experience and perspective.

“Transportation is vital to Alaska’s economy,” said Dennis Watson, Reform Project Committee Chair. “It is imperative we recreate the system with the input and support of Alaska residents.”
Phase One of the Reform Initiative examined governance models used by other ferry systems to determine what was best suited to Alaska’s unique situation. Phase Two examines the structure and benefits of a public corporation form of governance, potential opportunities for enhancing system revenue, how to better align management and labor, and control expenses. The Reform project is led by Elliot Bay Design Group.

Please visit to join the project mailing list and provide feedback about the value of AMHS. The site will be regularly updated with meeting notices and project documents. The draft Phase Two report will be available in September, positioning AMHS for implementing budget and legislative changes in the upcoming year.