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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2015
No.: 15-2501
Contact: Jeremy Woodrow, 907-465-8994, Jeremy.Woodrow@alaska.gov

ADOT&PF to Close Bars on State Ferries

(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) today announced that the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) will begin the process of closing bars on state ferries this winter.

Operation of AMHS bars results in a net loss for the State of Alaska. The closure will save the state more than $750,000 annually.

“Closing bars on state ferries creates immediate savings for the state and allows the department to limit reductions in ferry service to communities,” said ADOT&PF Acting Commissioner John Binder.

Six AMHS ferries currently have bar service. The exact closure date will vary upon each vessel’s return to service following its 2015 annual overhaul this spring. The vessels affected by the closure are:

  • M/V Kennicott
  • M/V Matanuska
  • M/V Columbia
  • M/V Tustumena
  • M/V Malaspina
  • M/V Taku

Beer and wine will continue to be sold on AMHS ferries. Concurrent with each bar closure, consumption and sales of alcoholic beverages will be limited to the vessel’s cafeteria as single serving sizes during meal hours.

The department is working with the Inlandboatmen’s Union to ensure that current AMHS employees are not displaced by the operational change.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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