AUTC project number: RR07.04
The Alaska Marine Highway System safely and reliably transports people, goods, and vehicles among Alaska communities, Canada, and the contiguous 48 states. AMHS has operated year-round since 1963, with regularly scheduled passenger and vehicle service to 30 communities in Alaska, plus Bellingham, Washington, and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. During the past ten years, AMHS has carried an average of 400,000 passengers and 100,000 vehicles per year. Currently, AMHS generates almost $50 million in annual revenue. However, like much of the nation's transportation infrastructure, AMHS facilities are aging, and the system will soon need new vessels and upgraded docking facilities. The State of Alaska already contributes to AMHS operating expenses, approaching $100 million a year. Its goal and that of AMHS is to keep the ferries running safely, reliably, and efficiently. This project is developing a detailed picture of the Alaska Marine Highway's mission and performance, as well as its operating and financial scenarios for the next five to twenty years. This analysis takes into account the transportation needs of Alaska's coastline communities and the resources the state has to meet those needs. The results of this study will benefit ADOT&PF in planning for long-term operation of the state's extensive ferry system.