Note from SE Conference

Attached is the draft scope of work (SOW) identified as needed over the course of the next year. McDowell’s SOW is comprehensive for Phase 4 (as we understand it now). Elliot Bay’s scope is for the 1st and most immediate deliverable needed to examine the feeder fleet requirements as identified in the Phase 2 strategic plan. We are still working to identify the components and cost of their remaining work  to complete a “Long-Range Capital Plan and Deployment Strategies”.

This first segment of Elliot Bay’s work is time sensitive in case the findings indicate modifications are warranted for the Hubbard while it is still under construction. If given the notice to proceed quickly, they can perform their analysis in 3-4 weeks and have those ready for discussion during the Southeast Conference annual meeting in Ketchikan Sept. 12-14.

During the annual meeting there will be an agenda item on Thursday morning to outline the findings of this portion of Phase 4. There will be a work session on Friday morning (8/14/18) from 8-9:30 which will be teleconferenced. You are welcome to join us in person or participate by phone.

Also attached are the last remaining deliverables for Phase 3 which is the list of Interim Measures and brochure update. To recap the Phase 3 work, we began the year focusing on the (Task 1) Tactical Legislative Strategy, which was the draft strategy outlining legislative communications and public outreach to support the reform initiative. The Strategy was reviewed with the Steering Committee and presented at the Mid-Session Summit. The Strategy was updated in May, following introduction of HB 412 and the conclusion of session. The updated Strategy was reviewed at the May Steering Committee meeting.

Task 2 was the Legislative and administrative support and communications including several meetings with Governor’s Office, legislators and other officials regarding legislative strategy. Formal presentations by our consultants were given at Southeast Conference, two House Transportation Committee hearings, and an Alaska Travel Industry Association board meeting. Support was provided for other presentations I gave to the Alaska Municipal League, two Tribal Transportation Symposiums (Anchorage (thanks, Gerry) and Haines), Ketchikan (Chamber of Commerce, joint City and Borough committees and City Council) and most recently in Yakutat (municipal and Tribe), Angoon city council, Kake (city, Tribe and Corporation) and Metlakatla. I will also be giving a presentation in Fairbanks next week. The PowerPoint presentation was updated several times to reflect project status changes and input from the Steering Committee and statewide stakeholders.

Once the legislature adjourned, our attention turned toward the “Interim Measures” that could be enacted or work toward during the period of time while the legislative efforts continue (estimated at 2-3 years or possibly more).

The third task was outlining the list of Interim Measures, which is attached in draft form for your review and editing. There are 9 measures (Measure 1 is a legislative responsibility) with Measures 2-9 offered for action as funding and other resources are available. Please consider whether this list has gaps, needs, clarification or perhaps other changes. Measures 2 and 3, along with a continued diligent outreach campaign seem critical to continue the momentum and project success achieved to date.

This final piece of the deliverable is an update of the AMHS Reform brochure (also attached) that incorporated new images and graphics, FY19 budget details, and updated messaging. Please review this and send in comments, desired edits, etc.

To more fully explain Phase 4 of the AMHS Reform initiative:

Phase 4 is the next recommended step from Phase 2, calling for a “Long-Range Capital Plan and Deployment Strategies”. This builds on the “Standardized Model” in the Phase 2 report, excerpted here:

Standardized Model 3.2.2 (pg. 58 Phase 2 Report)

The Standardized Model makes two distinct changes, with corresponding adjustments in the vessel specific data. First, it replaces the existing fleet of vessels with new standardized vessels. Second, impacts of a change in governance structure are applied.

The future fleet is envisioned to be a mix of ocean, mainliner (based off the Tustumena Replacement Vessel design), and 24/7 feeder vessels (based on a modified version of the Alaska Class Ferries). The current ACF design has left a general sense of dissatisfaction with its lack of speed to accomplish Lynn Canal service within Coast Guard workday hour norms (without a second vessel or alternate terminal, possibly in the Berner’s Bay area), lack of design that would allow the newest vessel in the fleet to have the capacity and capabilities to provide emergency relief service during the increasingly frequent breakdowns of the current fleet.

This is a historic opportunity from the Walker/Mallot Administration to allow Alaskans to weigh in and provide input and recommendations on how to create a system that meets the needs of our communities and the traveling public. And thanks to Commissioner Luiken for supporting this process and moving forward on many of the recommendations already. It has been great to have the “new” Executive Director on-board too. Shirley dove right into this project, is up to speed and helping to move it forward.  It is exciting to have her back at the AMHS "table" to continue the work with both the Steering Committee and MTAB.

Please let us know your thoughts on these documents. Comments can be made online at