Should the Alaska Marine Highway System be managed differently? That’s a question being asked by ferry advocates as they cope with smaller budgets and reduced schedules.
Ferry fares went up 5 percent for most routes Jan. 1. The hike comes on the heels of a 4.5 percent increase that began in May.
Budget cuts and mechanical breakdowns left many of summer 2015’s passengers stranded, dropping destinations or switching to air travel. Local officials want to make sure it doesn't happen again.
A draft schedule released Friday shows the Taku out for a year and the fast ferries Chenega and Fairweather tied up starting in the early fall.
Five Wrangell residents testified Wednesday at a House Finance Committee hearing on the state’s proposed operating budget. Several speakers expressed concerns about proposed cuts to the Alaska Marine Highway System and to educational programs.
Alaska Marine Highway officials want your comments on next fall and winter’s ferry sailings.
Juneau’s Reuben Yost is the new chief of the state ferry system. But he’ll spend only about half his time on that job.