The reality of these last two years – a fight for the future of the ferry, and continued outcry over its diminishment – can be lost in the search for longer term solutions. Instead of actions that ensured service during this time, service was lost even while the future was debated. And lost service and continued erosion of the system results in a feedback loop that actually impacts that future.

The entire framework, then, of the AMHS Reshaping Working Group, was to reduce service, systems, and sustainability in order to save the State money. Think about that for a minute. The charge is not to identify what would be most beneficial to communities. The goals are not effective inter-modal transportation, nor how to reduce transaction and opportunity costs for economic development. The mission is not public health and safety. The entire effort is how to reduce the system to its bare minimum – this was even the request made to community leaders – such that the State can reduce its obligation.

As municipal leaders, we can’t help but think that this is 1) a lost opportunity to strengthen the system and partnerships with communities, and 2) that the outcomes aren’t unsurprising given the goal.

Read more of our response – AML Response to AMHS WG Report.