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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 9, 2022
Press Release: 22-0039
Contact: Shannon McCarthy, (907) 269-0448, shannon.mccarthy@alaska.gov

Charting the Course to Thriving Communities Program Starts With Flat Rate Pricing and Focus on Reliable Service

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) —Alaska coastal communities will see more transparency, flat rates, and increased communication as Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) moves toward improving marine highway service reliability. The first step in this effort will be modifying the winter schedule based on customer feedback and suspending dynamic pricing until spring 2023.

“I want Alaskans to know that we are listening and making adjustments based on what we hear,” said DOT&PF Commissioner Ryan Anderson. “We are working to restore AMHS service to pre-pandemic levels, but it will take time and require us to work closely with our coastal communities to ensure the long-term health of the ferry system.”

"This program will set the stage for predictable, reliable ferry service," said Governor Mike Dunleavy. "The return to flat rate pricing for the winter is a good step until we can refill our crews and make sure we have relief workers, reducing staff burnout."

Nationwide, public ferry systems have struggled to fill vacancies. In late 2021 AMHS launched an aggressive hiring campaign, hired a headhunter and is now offering signing bonuses for most entry level positions. AMHS is now launching the Charting the Course Towards Thriving Communities: Reimagining AMHS program to restore reliability.

Dynamic pricing will be suspended for the winter schedule. “Dynamic pricing works when we can offer passengers the ability to plan ahead to take advantage of lower prices,” said AMHS General Manager, Capt. John Falvey. “We serve Alaskan communities, and returning to flat rates will provide relief to our customers as we work to improve.”

The Winter Operating Schedule will be released next week, with changes reflecting feedback the department heard from Alaskans. 

To learn about the Charting the Course Towards Thriving Communities: Reimagining AMHS check here: https://dot.alaska.gov/chartingthecourse.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 9 ferries serving 33 communities along 3,500 marine miles, over 5,600 miles of highway and 839 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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