Tuesday, May 22, 2018

AMHS gains full funding for 2018-19 operations

Ready to take on the journey north, the AMHS terminal was a busy
place this weekend as travellers to Alaska prepared to board the Malaspina

With a new fiscal year set to start on July 1st, the Alaska Marine Highway System will take to the water with another year of full funding delivered to help propel it through its 2018-19 schedule.

The funding for operations comes as a relief for the AMHS which had been facing some financial challenges from the state through the Spring.

The Alaska Legislature approved its funding levels for the marine transportation system that links communities up and down the Alaska coast, as well as for its service that brings Alaskans and other visitors to the Prince Rupert Terminal.

The prospect of full funding will be welcome news for Prince Rupert tourism and commercial operators who gain some financial impact from the stream of travellers making their way north and south through the summer.

This years service to the North Coast will be taken on by the Malaspina, which is filling in for the Manatuska which is currently undergoing a significant refit and is not expected back in service until close to the end of the fiscal year in 2019.

The AMHS is also about to take possession of some new vessels currently under construction at the Ketchikan Vigor shipyard, with the Alaska Day Boat Class Ferries, those vessels will be turned over to the AMHS later this year, to be introduced into their northern panhandle service.

Design model for the new Day Boat Class Ferry for the AMHS
currently under construction in Ketchikan

The Alaska Marine Highway System also has a new Executive Director at the helm, with Shirley Marquardt a former Alaskan Mayor and Member of the State's Board of Commissions named to the post last week.

The new AMHS Executive Director will be based out of the AMHS Ketchikan offices.

Alaska Governor Bill is looking to the new Executive Director to take the ferry system towards a new approach in its business model.

“Shirley is an excellent choice for AMHS because she will help orient the ferry system to a stronger business model,”  ... “For the safety and prosperity of coastal Alaska and the businesses across Alaska who use the ferries, service should be reliable and predictable. ”

The new executive director takes on her duties in early June, more notes on the AMHS announcement can be found here.

You can review more items of note related to the AMHS service from our archive page here.

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