By BECKY BOHRER
Associated Press

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A study commissioned by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy's administration recommends running ferries as day boats where possible and providing long-term contracts to private companies to help fill service gaps.

The Northern Economics consulting firm was asked to analyze options to reduce the state's financial obligations for the ferries, which are an important transportation link for many coastal communities not connected to the road system. 

A draft study by the consultant was released Wednesday.

Deputy transportation commissioner Mary Siroky told an advisory group the report can help decision makers figure out a “new paradigm” for the system.

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