Would you commit to continue funding the fast ferries as other vessels join the fleet?
U.S. House of Representatives
The fast ferry ship building projects are through the state and not the federal government. However, one thing that the federal government could do to improve the system and lower costs for users is to invest in our Southeast ports. In Congress, I will fight for more investment in infrastructure projects that will help grow our economy.
State leaders should listen to the people of Alaska when it comes to funding fast ferries. However, as your Congressman I will continue to work on the federal level to ensure Alaska receives transportation and infrastructure funding for the Alaska Marine Highway System. I support the funding of fast ferries as well as other vessels. The ferry system has served Alaskans well and I am pleased with the recent completion of the MV Tazlina and the soon-to-be-completed MV Hubbard. These ships will allow for more passengers and vehicles to be transported within the AMHS each day.
Yes. As a Libertarian I would like to see the ferry system transition into the private sector. However being that the ferry system is vital to the economy of SE Alaska; I would support such funding until an orderly transition can take place. I would also support the use of Airships (aka dirigibles) as laid out in House Research Agency Report 80-12 as an adjunct to the ferry system.
I believe the fast ferries must be evaluated in the context of a broader review of the Alaska Marine Highway System. In conjunction with my Commissioner of Transportation and the AMHS leadership, I would seek to engage the stakeholders and learn what can be done to improve the system. We need to talk with Alaskans who ride the ferry, and with the captains and crew members who operate the ferries and obtain their input on what can be done to improve scheduling and service. The AMHS is an essential component of our transportation system for Southeast and coastal Alaska, and we need to make whatever improvements are required to ensure its long-term future.
If I understand the question correctly, yes, in general. I need to know more about this and look at the budget on this one.
The candidate has not submitted a response to this question
Yes, I would. We must continue to expand access to transportation across the state.
House District 33
Yes, I would look for ways to try and keep them online for now. I believe it was a mistake to take the fast ferries out of service before the new dayboats were both brought into service.
I absolutely support the Alaska Marine Highway System, which is our region’s transportation system. I support the fast ferries, but the AMHS says that it is not a funding issue that is taking them out of service, but ongoing maintenance issues.
House District 34
I would love to see the fast ferries continue running as a more convenient and efficient way to travel. I would need to evaluate the cost feasibility, with fuel, amount of ferry staffing and goods needed for longer versus fast ferry use, ridership, reliability, frequency, and operating parameters. It would need to take into account the needs and convenience to citizens, businesses, tourism, and school groups.
I believe the Alaska Marine Highway is an essential source of transportation for coastal communities and needs to be affordable, reliable, and sustainable. It is important that the ferries are marketed and have a user friendly schedule.
The Alaska Marine Highway ferries are integral to our Southeast transportation system – as well as providing access to Central Alaska. We need to continually review the most efficient, affordable vessels and routes, provide adequate funding, and explore alternative management systems (such as proposed by the Southeast Conference). I strongly support Juneau Access as well, and believe it is key to Juneau’s future economic opportunities and growth – and for preserving Juneau as the capital city.
Senate District Q
No I will not commit to continued funding but will definitely not rule them out either. Nice as they are we need to look at the operational cost, maintenance cost and function and dependability to make a good decision.
The Marine Highway is a critical piece of our transportation infrastructure in Southeast, and I want to see all her current vessels sailing. Before legislators commit to specific funding, we need to work with the ferry system and make sure the vessels and the schedule meet our region’s needs. I strongly support the Southeast Conference’s effort to improve management of the Alaska Marine Highway System because we need better long-term planning at the ferry system. In recent years, we’ve seen more turnover in the fleet and strange direction changes from managers, like the attempt to spend an extra $13 million per vessel to repurpose the brand-new dayboats. With some expertise and stability overseeing the system — including a meaningful voice for shipboard employees — we’ll be able to put the right boats on the right routes for Alaskans and our region’s economy.