New Online Tool Helps Ferry Riders Plan


ferry_tracking_map.jpgJay Barrett/KMXT

The Alaska Marine Highway System will soon unveil a new online tool that will help the public know exactly when their ship will come in. Ferry system chief Mike Neussl in Juneau says the new System Map has an interactive online interface that allows users – even on smart phones – to find nearly every ship in the fleet with pinpoint accuracy.

(Ferry 1 36 sec "It covers nine of our 11 vessels … ships actually show up.")

The tracking information is not part of the failed attempt to provide internet access via satellite to passengers aboard the ferries. Instead, Neussl said it operates off the ships’ computer and satellite systems.

He said the state does not feel there are security concerns in providing precise location data to the public:

(Ferry 2 21 sec "The ship is out there and it’s … that’s public information.")

Though he’s not using a wall-sized flat-screen, Neussl say he does keep an eye on his fleet with the new tool:

(Ferry 3 25 sec "It just gives me situational awareness … to the traveling public.")

If you zoom out far enough on the online map, you can see the whole world, and no matter where an Alaska State Ferry is, it should show up there:

(Ferry 4 13 sec "Theoretically, yes. It is a satellite … rogue to the South China Sea.")

The state will unveil the new online System Map for the public this week. It’s available at Ferry Alaska dot com.


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