State seeks public review of summer ferry schedule

The proposed Alaska Marine Highway System, or AMHS, schedule for the summer 2016 season, which runs May through September, is now available for public review and comment. The proposed schedule can be accessed through a link on the homepage at FerryAlaska.com or directly through the following address: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/share/schedule/considerations.pdf.

All state agencies, including the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, are working with reduced budgets due to low oil prices. The proposed AMHS summer schedule aims to maximize ferry service to Alaskans within the available operating budget, according to a press release.

The comment period is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to review and comment on the proposed 2016 summer schedule.  The comment period has been extended to allow for more opportunity to review the proposed summer schedule which is significantly different than previous years’ schedules.

AMHS will be transitioning to a new reservations system beginning with the summer 2016 schedule. The new system will be ready to accept advanced bookings through the AMHS call center starting in December 2015. The new online booking portal at FerryAlaska.com will be made available shortly thereafter.

Written comments will be accepted via email at dot.amhs.comments@alaska.gov and by fax at 907-228-6874 prior to Nov. 3.

A teleconference to hear comments and consider adjustments is scheduled for Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. for Southeast Alaska schedules and 1:30 p.m. for Southwest and Southcentral Alaska schedules. The meeting will be held in Ketchikan at the Marine Engineering Facility 7037 North Tongass Highway for participants wishing to attend in person.

The toll free number to participate in either teleconference is: 1-800-315-6338, conference code 03902#.

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