Ferry system still short of hiring target for summer schedule


State ferry system and Transportation Department officials plan to gather this week in Ketchikan to consider options for fulfilling the advertised summer schedule amid a continuing shortage of onboard crew.

The department failed to meet its self-imposed timeline of hiring enough workers by March 1 to ensure that the Columbia on May 1 would return to service for the first time since fall 2019. The Alaska Marine Highway System had said it needed to hire at least 166 new employees to staff up its fleet — a gap of about one-quarter of its total authorized hiring level.

Failing to make the hir...

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