AMHS issues proposed winter ferry schedule

A vehicle loads onto the M/V Aurora at the Cordova Ferry Terminal. (July 21, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
A vehicle loads onto the M/V Aurora at the Cordova Ferry Terminal. (July 21, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Proposed winter dates and routes for the Alaska Marine Highway System, to run from October 2021 through April 2022, are out for public review and comment through July 27, state transportation officials announced on Tuesday, July 13.

The proposed summer 2022 schedule is also expected to be out for review and comment shortly after the winter 2021 schedule is finalized, said officials with the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

The state’s fiscal year 2022 budget signed into law recently includes an $87 million increase for the ferry system over the current year’s budget. Legislators also established an 18-month funding schedule for AMHS to ensure stable service to coastal communities.

The proposed schedule patterns are based on adopted FY22 funding levels. The operating plan is designed to meet community needs and maintain regulatory and safety standards for the vessels, officials said.

The draft winter schedule can be found online with accompanying documents at cdv.tiny.us/ferry.

AMHS officials said they are also interested in hearing about any need for special events scheduling and requests that organizers or communities give the event name, dates, location and arrival/departure times needed for each special event.

Written comments can be submitted through July 27 via email to dot.amhs.comments@alaska.gov and by fax at 907-228-6873. 

A public teleconference to hear additional comments and consider schedule adjustments is set for July 29 at 10 a.m. for Southeast schedules and at 1:30 p.m. for Southwest and Southcentral schedules. The meetings will be held at the Alaska Marine Highway Ketchikan Central Office for those wishing to attend in person.

The toll-free number to join both teleconferences is 1-515-604-9000, access code 279613.