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UPDATE: Alaska ferry sailings cut in half for summer season

MV Taku taken out of service for entire fiscal year

The State of Alaska released its Alaska Marine Highway schedule and Prince Rupert will see a 50 per cent drop in traffic come summer.

The MV Taku, which has served Prince Rupert in the past, will be out of service for the entire fiscal year.

“As a result of the MV Taku entering layup status for the entire operating year, Prince Rupert sailings have been reduced from four days per week to two days per week,” explained Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities communications officer Jeremy Woodrow.

“Due to budget cuts every community that is served by the AMHS will see a reduction in service in one form or another. The priority of AMHS is not cut off any one community from ferry service entirely and create a schedule that serves the most people in as many communities as possible within the budget that is provided each operating year.”

While the number of sailings has been cut down to two per week, Woodrow said he doesn’t anticipate a significant reduction in the number of passengers coming through Prince Rupert.

“Our data has shown that the reduced frequency has not resulted in a reduction of ridership. The Matanuska being the larger of the two vessels has the more than the capacity to fulfill the traffic demand to/from Prince Rupert,” he said.