This October 2020 photo shows the illuminated Kennicott at the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal. Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is now accepting comments on the proposed Alaska Marine Highway summer ferry schedule. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

This October 2020 photo shows the illuminated Kennicott at the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal. Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is now accepting comments on the proposed Alaska Marine Highway summer ferry schedule. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

Public comment period opens for ferry schedule

A teleconference is set for Feb. 8.

People can now review and comment on the proposed Alaska Marine Highway Service schedule for May through September, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities announced.

The proposed schedule is available online at http://alaska.gov/go/Z9GC, the transportation department said in a Monday news release. The proposed schedule is based on projections for funding, service demand (considering the continued pandemic), and the governor’s proposed budget, according to the department.

The operating plan has been designed to meet community service needs while staying within these parameters and maintaining regulatory and safety standards for the vessels, according to the transportation department. Due to the pandemic and continuing Canadian border closure, the proposed summer schedule does not include service to Prince Rupert. AMHS continues to work with the U.S. and Canadian governments on pre-clearance requirements and may add Prince Rupert service later, according to the department.

[Long-awaited ferry reshaping report released]

AMHS is also interested in knowing 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 will be accepted on or before Feb. 7, via email at dot.amhs.comments@alaska.gov and by fax at (907) 228-6874.

A teleconference to hear comments and consider adjustments is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, at 10 a.m. for the Southeast schedules, and at 1:30 p.m. for Southwest and Southcentral schedules. The toll-free number to participate in either teleconference is 1-515-604-9000, access code 279613.

• Contact the Juneau Empire newsroom at (907)308-4895.

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