Some coastal Alaska communities expected to see long winter ferry service gaps
JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - Some coastal Alaska communities will see long gaps in ferry service this winter, according to a draft operating plan released by the Department of Transportation.
The department says that Alaska Marine Highway System revenues have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a result, it has become necessary to build the operating plan with minimal essential service to most communities,” a press release from DOT reads. “Some service gaps will still exist from vessel overhauls and layups as a result of available funding.”
From Oct. 1 until April 30, the communities of Chenega Bay, Tatitlek, Valdez, Seldovia, Ouzinkie and Port Lions will see no ferry service. There will also be no service to Prince Rupert which is on hold indefinitely.
There will be significant gaps for other coastal communities. Hoonah, Gustavus, Angoon, Pelican and Tenakee will see no ferry service from Feb 15. through April 11 as the M/V LeConte will be in overhaul.
There will also be a service gap for Prince William Sound, Homer and Kodiak from Jan. 7 through mid-March as the M/V Kennicott will be in overhaul.
The announcement that some Alaska communities will see months without ferry service follows a tough winter for many towns and villages across Alaska.
The current draft winter operating plan will be available for public comment through Aug. 14.
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