Update: DOT signs contracts for catamaran service to Southeast communities

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has signed contracts with vendors to support the winter ferry schedule in Southeast Alaska with catamaran service.

    Goldbelt Transportation and Allen Marine will provide passenger service, according to Goldbelt President and CEO McHugh Pierre.

    He told News of the North that both Goldbelt and Allen Marine bid on passenger service and both won.  Pierre said there were six total routes awarded and each company won three.  Pierre says the companies are working together to create a responsible, dependable, and affordable solution for transportation for the smaller communities in Southeast.

    Pierre said their motivation is not profit, but rather as a way to service their members and residents of the region.

    Community leaders question if those options will meet resident needs for freight and groceries.   CoastAlaska reports that officials in Gustavus have been among those asking the department to activate the idle Tazlina ferry. The department says the ferry won’t be ready until early February.

    The Goldbelt contract covers two confirmed routes.  The first roundtrip route is scheduled for January 26 between Juneau, Hoonah, Gustavus, and Juneau.  The second roundtrip is planned for January 27 between Juneau, Tenakee, Angoon, and Juneau.

    Pierre said people are asking how much they can bring on board.  They are working with DOT to make sure they meet all of their weight requirements and they will publish those requirements so people know about the limitations.

    Depending on operational needs, the release from Goldbelt states that additional trips for each route may be scheduled before March.




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