As the state legislature session begins soon, funding for the Alaska Marine Highway System will again be a major topic discussion. At least one House Transportation Committee hearing is already schedule for Jan. 21 to receive public comments. (We will share that information as details become available.) HEDC would like to provide information to lawmakers about economic impacts of the ferry on our community. To that end, we’re asking for your help! We all have ferry stories to share, but we would like to hear specifically about financial impacts to your family or business that you have faced recently because of reduced ferry service. We don’t need private information; we simply want to provide a bulleted list of real examples. For instance, we might phrase this list to lawmakers like; “A business in Haines says it’s shipping costs increased/decreased by XXX percent in December due to reduced ferry sailings” or “A family of five in Haines paid $XXX to rebook their travel after additional ferry cancellations were announced in November.”  We would like specific numbers, but we will not use individual or business names. Most importantly, we depend on you to provide accurate information but we don’t want to inflate or exaggerate this information to lawmakers. We know there are financial impacts to the reduced ferry sailings, as well as reasons AMHS believes these reduced ferries are necessary. While this information will be anecdotal, we want to make sure it’s factual. We hope by compiling this information for policy makers that it will provide a glimpse into the real economic impacts of the ferry system on Haines.

Please email with your story about the financial impacts of the ferry system. We will not share your email or name with anyone. We will try to use as many of the comments we receive as possible.