|It's Schedule review time for the Alaska Marine Highway System, with a|
draft schedule under consideration that would see two months where
there will be no service between Ketchikan and Prince Rupert
Marine Transportation between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan may once again be disrupted this winter, should a Draft Schedule proposed by the Alaska Marine Highway System gain approval following a public comment period currently underway.
The State of Alaska which oversees the operations of AMHS vessels between the North Coast and Alaska released their proposed fall and winter schedule yesterday and as it was last year, Prince Rupert faces the cancellation of service for all of January and portions of December and February.
In the introduction to the public review process, Captain John F. Falvey Jr. outlines the process of review for the proposed schedule revisions; the correspondence also outlines the details on how those with an opinion can share them with the State, as well as plans for a public teleconference to hear additional comments.
The State is also looking for updates from communities that are served by AMHS vessels as to what community events are scheduled during the period in question and what dates they take place, among the list are two All Native Basketball Tournament events,
Of note for the terminal operations at Prince Rupert is the draft schedule for the Matanuska the AMHS vessel which is scheduled for the Prince Rupert-Ketchikan run this fall and into the winter.
The proposed schedule for 2019-2020 will see the vessel provide one sailing per week per month in November and December and again in March and April.
There is no indication for sailings scheduled in the months of January or February between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan as part of the Draft schedule.
During that period of time, the Matanuska has been tasked with four sailings per month between Ketchikan and Bellingham, Washington.
The State is also looking for updates from communities that are served by AMHS vessels as to what community events are scheduled during the period in question and what dates they take place.
Among the entries currently on the list are two All Native Basketball Tournament related events, the preliminary tourney in the fall and the main event of February.
Those with an interest in providing feedback to the State of Alaska can do so by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
A public teleconference to hear additional comments and consider adjustments is scheduled for Monday July 29th at 10 AM for the Southeast Alaska schedule, you can find more information on how to participate in the engagement process here.
The draft schedule process comes amid a wider overview of AMHS service and budget concerns currently underway in the State.
Last year, the AMHS service was suspended between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan in the third week of December, with the first sailing for 2019 taking place on February 25th.
Earlier this year Mayor Lee Brain advised City Council of his plans to provide an update for the public on AMHS related issues at a future council session, however that update has not yet been followed up on to date.
The Mayor also has recently returned from Ketchikan where he attended Fourth of July activities in Alaska's First City, with a City Council session coming up on July 22nd, there may be an opportunity for Mr. Brain to provide updates on both the AMHS notes and some of the themes of his discussions with officials in Ketchikan during the Independence Day visit.
For more items of note related to marine transportation on the North Coast see our archive page here.
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