Southeast Conference begins AMHS strategic planning effort
June 14, 2016
On May 19, Governor Bill Walker signed a memorandum of understanding with Southeast Conference, a regional economic development organization, to undertake a comprehensive planning process aimed at improving the long-term viability of the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS).
The purpose of this project is to develop a long-term strategic plan for the AMHS that includes a comprehensive operational and business plan for the AMHS that is financial sustainable and meets the needs of those it serves. The process will involve broad public engagement and should result in a financially sustainable Alaska Marine Highway System that meets the needs of those it serves for at least the next 25 years.
“For over 50 years, the Alaska Marine Highway System has served as a critical transportation link for Alaska’s coastal communities,” said Governor Walker during the May 19th signing of the MOU with Southeast Conference. “The ferries are a lifeline in many communities, and the economic benefits are felt throughout the state.”
Proposals are sought from qualified transportation and analysis firms to develop Phase One of a two-phase project that will culminate in a proposed strategic plan that includes a long-term, comprehensive operational and business plan for the Alaska Marine Highway System.
This project will have a formal kickoff with a stakeholders’ summit in late summer. “This first phase of statewide stakeholder involvement and governance modeling is a small but significant step toward insuring the system’s long-term viability”, stated Garry White, Board President for Southeast Conference. “The current fiscal challenges require that transformational changes be made to have a responsive and sustainable ferry system for the next generation”.
The findings and recommendations of the Phase One project will lead into Phase Two when a “comprehensive operational and business plan” is developed. Nothing in the award of a Phase One contract obligates Southeast Conference to award subsequent work to the Phase One contractor, nor does it disqualify the Phase One contractor from performing further work on subsequent phases.
Southeast Conference began 58 years ago to advocate and support the establishment of a regional marine transportation system.
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Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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