Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Alaska Marine Highway System faces more challenges on Rupert service

The southernmost port of the AMHS panhandle service is still providing the Alaska ferry service with a number of challenges, as Alaska State Transportation officials look to finalize their plans for the 2016 season ahead.

The status of service to and from Prince Rupert was featured among some of the topics for discussion at a recent Board meeting of the AMHS.

With the fate of the Prince Rupert Terminal rebuild still apparently stalled and certification woes for ships that remain in service an issue that has yet to be resolved. The latter a situation which may perhaps leave the Ferry Service in a bit of a bind as it looks to operate the run between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan.

A story in yesterday's Juneau Empire highlighted those twin issues, reporting on a presentation to the Marine Highway Service Board in Anchorage on Monday by AMHS General Manager John Falvey.

After a fairly extensive overview of the state of construction for new ships for the AMHS fleet, Mr. Falvey it seems turned his attention to some of the issues of interest for the North Coast of BC.

On the theme of the status of the terminal project he is reported in the Empire as noting that the issue of the steel which is required for the rebuild is still a stumbling block, with neither side willing to budge.

With cutbacks planned for the service in 2016, the AMHS is shuffling around the fleet to be used for service. With the vessels tasked to service Prince Rupert for the year ahead requiring certification known as SOLAS, or Safety of Life at Sea, a designation that is required for any American ship making ports of call at international ports.

The Empire adds that Mr. Falvey advised the Board that the AMHS had applied for a waiver from the U. S. Coast Guard but that was not granted, and with some of the ships once used in transit to the North Coast now having been taken out of service, or reassigned, those that remain may not be available to serve Prince Rupert.

It was not noted in the article if the Ferry Service had any form of plan in mind to address the service issues, while the status of the Ferry Terminal may likely become a topic for further review between the new Federal Government and the State of Alaska.

You can review the full Juneau Empire article here.

For past items related to the AMHS issues see our archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment