Monday, January 20, 2020

Alaska Governor sets up Work Group to explore options for AMHS service

With a new Reshaping report in hand, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has set up a new Work Group to explore the options for the Alaska Marine Highway Service.

 The new group will use the report delivered last week as its guideline of review towards determining the future for the transportation service that travels the Alaska Coast, including Prince Rupert which currently faces the status of a suspended service.

“Using the resources of the Reshaping Study, the public, the three Advisory Boards, and their own personal knowledge and experience, I believe the recommendations of this Work Group will produce a balanced perspective for the future of the AMHS,”   -- John MacKinnon, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities.

As we noted last week, the report offered up a range of options for consideration for Alaska's government as it tries to come to terms with the financial issues facing the service, as well as the desire of Alaskans for as full a service as possible.

The gates to the Prince Rupert AMHS Terminal remain closed,
with service now suspended. The city last saw a
sailing to and from Ketchikan in November 

Among the options to be considered for the Prince Rupert service is its outright cancellation or a reduced level of service between the North Coast and Ketchikan.

The Work Group members, who will take to their efforts without compensation, will consist of the following positions:

Chair or designee from the Marine Transportation Advisory 
Board Chair or designee from the Aviation Advisory 
Board Chair or designee from the Roads & Highways 
Advisory Board One representative from one of the three marine unions 
Two members of the Legislature – to be named by Senate President and Speaker of the House 
Three members from the general public representing areas of broad statewide public interest

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has put forward  plans for a
Work Group that will review options for the AMHS

The Alaska Governor expects to announce the member of the Work Group by mid-February, recommendations from their work are expected to be in Dunleavy's hands by September 30th, with the goal to have the findings implemented by the 2023 Fiscal Year.

More background on Friday's announcement can be found here.

A look at some of the past notes on the Alaska Marine Highway System can be explored here.

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