The Petersburg Transportation Advisory Committee Chair, Dave Kensinger, attended the Marine Transportation Advisory Board meeting in Juneau and asked for more ferry service to the area.
“We went to them with two proposals,” Kensinger said. “One was met with widespread support.”
Kensinger asked that two vessels be rededicated out of Prince Rupert from May through September and for a fast vehicle ferry service as well.
“Everyone was in support of the two vessels out of Prince Rupert. This would be of great benefit to the region, not just Petersburg,” Kensinger stated. “The addition will have no impact on us this year because it will take a year to 18 months to see this to fruition.”
The fast ferry proposal will take more time and more community support.
The Marine Vessel Fairweather is considered dead due to engine time out.
“It is a two-year time period from when they are able to buy the engines and it can be back in the water,” Kensinger said. “The bottom line is there won't be a Fairweather for a while.”
Kensinger also explained that it would take a large amount of support from the community to get the service.
“We need to continue to let our representatives know that we want to have service,” he stated. “The service we have now can't be cut any more without being cut completely.”
At this time, Petersburg has service from one vessel out of Prince Rupert and one out of Bellingham with one additional ferry out of Prince Rupert from May through September.
“We have more vessels in the system than they ever have and they are spending more money that they ever have but we are getting a minimal amount of service,” Kensinger stated. “We need more service than is being provided.”