Ferry restructuring draft report done, final not done


Northern Economics has finished its draft report to the Department of Transportation on the “economic reshaping” of the Alaska Marine Highway System.

The report comes after DOT issued a request for proposals for a study and report on how the State’s ferry system, which is a significant financial burden to the State, can move forward with a smaller budget.

This year’s ferry expenditures cost the State $142.2 million, after a cut to last year’s $180.1 million budget.

Northern Economics delivered the draft AMHS Economic Reshaping report to DOT on Tuesday. But because of the volume of data and complexity of the issues, DOT has extended the due date for the final report, which is expected to be available for the public in December, after it is reviewed by the department for accuracy.


  1. The State needs to combine the coordination of air transport with the selective utilization of the transportation by ferry. The revenue numbers must achieve a break even with operational overhead of the ferry system.

    • Really Ross? do the rest of the roads in the state break even? Or should we place tolls on them til they do?

      • Why yes Tom, the rest of the roads do break even as they allow for commerce and trade to pass easily between communities, states and countries. If there was no economic need, none of the original horse and dog sled trails like the Richardson and the Seward highway would have ever been improved into paved, all weather roads.

        Then you have community’s like Cordova who fought against any attempt to link them up to the road system. Now they are crying about not having ferry service when it should have been painfully obvious for years that it was not even close to economical run 3/4 empty ferries back and forth to their town.

  2. Highways are not meant to be for profit! Many communities need the “water highway” to sustain life. Let’s just bite the bullet and keep all our transportation thoroughfares open. Costs need to be cut that is certain; leave no stone unturned to accomplish our goals!

  3. Let the community’s who use the ferry service pay for it. The can tax the visitors and tourist to help fund the expensive ferry structure.

  4. A full PFD can buy a lot of plane tickets..

    Here’s a thought: continue to streamline services and make reasonable cuts, and give everyone in the state their full PFD.

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