AMHS To Temporarily Resume Service To Prince Rupert
Public release of AMHS Economic Reshaping report delayed until December
By MARY KAUFFMAN
October 16, 2019
The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) is scheduling these two runs to Prince Rupert with approval from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and law enforcement support from the City of Prince Rupert. The three parties are working together to determine how AMHS can meet U.S. Customs and Border Protection requirements in Prince Rupert and continue sailing in the future.
“I applaud the cooperation between U.S. Customs and Border Protection, City of Prince Rupert, DOT&PF and AMHS,” said Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy. “The State of Alaska recognizes that the AMHS presence in Prince Rupert is important and we are committed to maintaining this route if it’s logistically and fiscally feasible.”
Rep. Dan Oritiz commented to today's announcement by email writing to SitNews, ""I see this as a great first step hopefully culminating in a long term solution whereby the AKDOT-AMHS commits itself to partnering with all the parties involved to restoring Prince Rupert as regular port of call for the AMHS. Having access to the Port of Prince Rupert is a priority to many businesses, families and individuals that live through out Coastal Alaska."
Last month, AMHS announced that service to Prince Rupert was being discontinued because AMHS could not meet a new CBP requirement to provide a Canadian law enforcement presence in Prince Rupert. The Canadian law enforcement presence in Prince Rupert is required by CBP to protect CBP personnel while inspection tasks are performed.
This development comes after months of collaboration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection . In an Oct. 3 letter from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) was given 60 days to notify Customs and Border Protection of its intent to commit to substantial facility modifications at either the AMHS Prince Rupert or Ketchikan terminals. The AMHS facility modifications must fully comply with the security operations stipulated within the Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance Agreement (LRMA) signed by the U.S. and Canada.
AMHS sailings to Prince Rupert are scheduled for Oct. 29 and Nov. 25 on the M/V Malaspina. Reservations are now available for booking at www.FerryAlaska.com, by calling the AMHS Reservations Center at 1-800-642-0066, or by visiting ferry terminals throughout the ferry system.
Future sailings to Prince Rupert will be dependent on a number of factors that include considerable financial investment and meeting the long-term requirements of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.AMHS Economic Reshaping Report Public Release Delayed
The Alaska Department of Transportation announced yesterday that Northern Economics delivered the draft AMHS Economic Reshaping report to DOT&PF on Oct. 15. However, due to the volume of data and complexity of the issues, the Alaska Department of Transportation extended the due date for the final report.
According to the DOT news release, extending the due date will allow the department sufficient time to review for accuracy. The department will provide a final draft of the report to the Marine Transportation Advisory Board for review and comment.
“I’m disappointed by the decision of the DOT to delay the release of this potentially very important report. The Alaska Marine Highway is critical piece of Coastal Alaska’s transportation infrastructure. The contents of a report that speaks to the potential restructuring of that infrastructure is a matter of immediate concern to many Alaskans throughout the state,” commented Rep. Dan Ortiz by email to SitNews.
On March 19, 2019, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting proposals from qualified vendors to deliver an Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) Economic Reshaping Report. A contract was awarded to Northern Economics on May 3, 2019.
The purpose of the Request for Proposals (RFP) was to solicit proposals to identify potential reductions to the State of Alaska’s financial obligation and/or liability as related to the AMHS. Quoting the news release, findings from the report will be used to shape future budget conversations, starting with the FY2021 budget.
A final report will be available to the public in December.
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