Some Alaska Ferry Trips On The Chopping Block

More than 9,000 people are booked for Alaska Marine Highway sailings that will likely be cut due to budget reductions.

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Ferry Chief Mike Neussl says about 2,500 vehicles are also scheduled for those sailings.

But for now, the ferry system isn’t letting travelers know.

“I am reluctant to pull the trigger (and) cancel those runs that we’ve already sold tickets on and rebook all those passengers because of the possibility that some of that service may be restored if funding is restored,” Neussl said.

Neussl explained the situation to the state’s Marine Transportation Advisory Board during a Wednesday meeting in Juneau.

He said travelers will be contacted and, if possible, rescheduled as soon as it’s clear how deep the cuts will be. He acknowledged some will be angry.

Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell.

He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues.

He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.

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