IFA Boards 100,000th Passenger
November 24, 2003
IFA chair and Craig mayor Dennis Watson presented Vicki Hamilton with a complimentary round-trip ticket, and gift certificates for a two night stay at the Best Western Landing Hotel, two days of car rental from Alaska Car Rental, and dinner for two at Annabelles. The prizes were donated by Ketchikan merchants. Hamilton is Craig city clerk. Her father in law, Fred Hamilton, Sr. was the first passenger on the M/V Prince of Wales, when he rode the vessel from the shipyard in Anacortes to Ketchikan on its delivery voyage in December, 2001.
50,308 passengers have traveled on the M/V Prince of Wales between Prince of Wales Island and Ketchikan in 2003 as of Saturday morning's sailing, according to Watson. He anticipates that approximately 6,000 more passengers will travel on this route by year end, making this the busiest year since Ketchikan-Hollis shuttle ferry service was implemented by the Alaska Marine Highway System in 1974.
Based on 2002 traffic figures, Hollis-Ketchikan is the busiest passenger/vehicle ferry route in Alaska, followed by Juneau-Haines, Juneau-Skagway, Ketchikan-Metlakatla, Haines-Skagway, Ketchikan-Prince Rupert, Valdez-Whittier, Kodiak-Homer, Ketchikan-Bellingham, and Valdez-Cordova.
The M/V Prince of Wales is also serving Metlakatla with one round-trip between Ketchikan and Metlakatla every Friday and Saturday, through April 30, 2004. The IFA was the successful bidder for a state contract to provide the supplemental service to Metlakatla, which started this week. With traffic steadily increasing, the IFA has decided to maintain current passenger and vehicle fares between Hollis and Ketchikan through 2004, said Dennis Watson.
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