The state’s Marine Transportation Advisory Board is recommending increased ferry service to southwest Alaska from Kodiak to Unalaska. Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference leaders met with the board on Monday, and urged the board to increase service to the region from once to twice a month during the summer.
The ferry route, which stops in villages like Chignik and Sand Point, helps connect local villages and increase commerce in the region. The advisory board makes non-binding recommendations to the state and the Alaska Marine Highway System on issues related to the state ferry system. During the meeting board chair Cathie Roemich wrote a recommendation that would help people in the southwest without cutting service to the southeast.
— (Ferry Service 24 sec ‘…into the schedule."
The only town that might be negatively affected by the change is Port Lions on Kodiak Island. The schedule change is dependent on the state’s budget. Governor Palin will release her proposed fiscal year 2010 budget on December 15. She says it will be tighter than previous years because of lower oil prices. However, the lower fuel prices might help the ferry system because it will make it cheaper to operate.
The advisory board suggests that people who are interested in increased service to the region should write letters to the ferry system, local legislators, and the governor’s office.