By Larry Persily
Wrangell Sentinel 

Ferry ridership still not back to pre-pandemic numbers


March 27, 2024

The state ferry system carried 181,000 passengers in 2023, still short of the pre-COVID numbers in 2019 and down substantially from almost 340,000 in 2012 and more than 420,000 in 1992.

Overall vehicle traffic also is down, from more than 115,000 in 2012 to 63,000 last year.

Much of the decline corresponds to a reduction in the number of vessels in operation, according to statistics presented to a state Senate budget subcommittee on March 19.

The fleet provided almost 400 “operating weeks” in 2012, with each week a ship is at sea counting as an operating week. By 2023, that number was down to...

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