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Old 09-21-2007, 12:33 AM
 
1 posts, read 6,961 times
Reputation: 10

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Dear all,
If someone could please add their insight to the following questions please:

*Background information: I plan on enrolling in the Outdoor Skills and Leadership course at UAS in the next year or so (give or take depending on some factors). Getting accepted should not be an issue with the current schoolwork that is completed. The program may be full next Fall or things may not come together in the meantime for the program. In that case, working full time in Juneau until the next enrollment is possible and honestly some time to explore and reflect would not be a bad thing.

Most of the focus is getting set up and functional in the meantime. My goal is to have enough resources in the next 6 months to make the move, but the move will not happen until the resources are in place so it may take longer (or shorter).

Demands of the program:
It will be a nine month course going full time which will also demand part time work. I have very few "things" and could reasonably get there with a backpack and two decent sized packages with clothes, supplies and some books.

So...could you all please let me know some information since you are on sight?

1) What is the cheapest way to get a car by ferry to Juneau? Is a car really needed? I looked for any information on public transportation, but was unable to locate any. Surviving without a car (and the costs) is doable if it is possible to function without one.

2) If no car is needed, does anyone have any hints for cheap shipping (for the packages) or airfare please?

2) What time of year is the best to move in? With the changing seasons and tourists it would seem that most rooms would open up when the touristas leave, but that is just a guess. There is also weather to take into consideration. Would moving in the last part of summer would be best to avoid touristas, but get a decent supply of competing rooms?

3) How realistic is setting up a job before the move? My background is pretty varied and I would honestly work whatever job that would allow me to survive. Since I have never done a job search that was not in the local area, does anyone have any advice? I snagged a few websites from the other moving posts so finding spots to look for work should not be a problem.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:54 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,349 posts, read 10,850,983 times
Reputation: 2442
I think Xa'at is a good one for info on this one. I'll chime in on what I know.

I can tell you that there is public transportation (a bus system). Here is their website: Capital Transit, City and Borough of Juneau. Bus fare is 3 dollars. If you want to do anything off campus, you will need wheels or the bus. UAS is near Auke Lake/Auke Bay and sort of away from everything---in a bedroom community as it's called. There is a bus stop at UAS and the bus goes into the valley (nearest shopping--2 small malls, Safeway, Fred Meyers, etc) and you can connect to go downtown. It's possible to live in Juneau without going downtown (in fact, during tourist season, I"d encourage avoiding downtown). On the other hand, you have access to some neat trails and a few little coffee shops (Silverbow, Valentinos etc) so a trip downtown every one in a while is nice. I think the bus is doable.

Where are you shipping the car from? I know alot of people use the ferry out of Bellingham WA to Juneau---fares drop considerably on off-season (late Sept/Oct-May). Here is their website: Alaska Ferry, Alaska Marine Highway, Inside Passage, Alaska Tours & Cruises. Click on the "Inside Passage" which is the Bellingham to Juneau route. I don't know that it would be cheaper to use a shipping company out of Seattle--maybe if you were shipping household goods as well, but I think the ferry may be less of a hassle because you can travel it as well. Of course, doing the ferry in the dead of the winter probably isn't the best of times. I'm sure someone else can chime in here. I"ve taken the ferry in April.

That being said, housing sometimes becomes scarce when the state legislature is in session---sometime around Jan/Feb after the holiday break, and of course summer would be congested. You can try craigslist and Juneau's newspaper for rental listings: JuneauEmpire.com: The Online Voice of Alaska's Capital City. Try looking in the valley, Auke Bay, area, as housing will be closest to the UAS campus. I would think spring or fall would be a good time to move and get yourself situated.

I don't think getting a job before you move is difficult. Juneau is always in need of good employees. I know of people who were offered employment before they moved and I was also offered positions, so I think it's doable as well.

Just be prepared for some sticker shock, both in rentals and food. Although Juneau does have 50 miles of road, it is off the road system (meaning not connected to other places). I think this isolation is what makes Juneau so great. At the same time,there is a price to pay for that greatness. If you budget and are smart, you can do it. If you ask me, the experience and just the opportunity to live in SE Alaska is worth it.

Best to you and congrats! You will love it!
Cobolt

Last edited by cobolt; 09-21-2007 at 10:05 AM..
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Juneau, AK
2,628 posts, read 6,130,413 times
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Hi Drew! I would agree that I'm a good person to ask on this question. I am currently a Marine Bio major at UAS! You also have the honor of receiving my 200th post with CD!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewBond007 View Post
1) What is the cheapest way to get a car by ferry to Juneau? Is a car really needed? I looked for any information on public transportation, but was unable to locate any. Surviving without a car (and the costs) is doable if it is possible to function without one.
Well, I have heard of people who barge their cars up separately, but honestly the easiest way is to take it with you by AMHS ferry. I pulled out my cost scale for car transportation BEL->JNU and this is what I've got:
Up to 10ft= $431
Up to 15ft= $739
Up to 19ft= $877
Up to 21ft= $1133
Every additional foot beyond 21= $62
So you'll need to measure your car. It used to be that drivers ride free in the winter, but apparently due to low ridership that is now a year round deal. If you have a Kayak, that will cost you $80 to bring aboard. If you go in the summer (recommended) you can bring a tent and pitch it on the solarium, which is heated by heat lamps at night. That's always fun.

As far as whether or not you need a car depends on how willing you are to be dependent on bus schedules! Capital Transit has got a good system that it not expensive and goes a lot of places, but I guarantee they will not take you everywhere you want to go. You might want to sell your car down south and buy one up here. This is especially true if your car is not 4WD... If it isn't, don't bother bringing it. Sure, you might be okay, but why take the risk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewBond007 View Post
2) If no car is needed, does anyone have any hints for cheap shipping (for the packages) or airfare please?
Airfare is going to have to be Alaska Airlines, unless you plan on flapping your arms... a lot. Alaska Air has a monopoly over us, and they know it, so they grossly overcharge us... to the point where you can expect to throw down up to $500 for a one way trip from Seattle to Juneau, and they don't even give us peanuts. It's the way of the world, and so if you have some time on your hands, I would really recommend still taking the ferry. It's three days BEL->JNU, and if you are walk on without your car, you are looking at about $326 for the trip, plus foodstuffs. If you want to bring your bike, that's an additional $50. In some cases, it costs less and the trip is much more scenic! I don't know if they still let you do this, but last time I rode they let you get off and explore the towns you stop at, i.e. Ketchikan, Wrangell, etc. That may have changed since 9/11, but if it hasn't it's certainly fun.
For shipping your stuff there's a couple of options. Lynden Transport and a few others make barge runs that are relatively inexpensive, but I have no experience with any of them so I can't really help you there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewBond007 View Post
2) What time of year is the best to move in? With the changing seasons and tourists it would seem that most rooms would open up when the touristas leave, but that is just a guess. There is also weather to take into consideration. Would moving in the last part of summer would be best to avoid touristas, but get a decent supply of competing rooms?
Unless you plan on staying in a on cruise ship, you won't be competing with tourists barely at all. If you don't stay in a hotel, you won't be competing with any tourists. There are a many apartment complexes here, I can't even begin to tell you about them. You should contact a local realtor to help you out with that, but to give you an idea, studio apartments start at about $640 a month, + utilities.
You can come whenever you want, but the ferry voyage is easiest in the summer, whether that be early or late summer. Come in the late spring and there will be more job opportunities in the tourist shops, but those are all seasonal and likely don't pay very well.
I don't know how old you are, but if you are young you might consider living on campus. There are single rooms for people who like their space, so you get a room of your own, but you share a bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room. It's a pretty neat setup and you can easily walk to your classes, making it easier if you decide not to have a car.
If you are willing to live in a communal environment, there is always the hostel. I'm not sure of the specifics exactly, but I know it is very inexpensive. You have some chores to do daily, and you have to share a room with quite a few people, but if you don't mind that it wouldn't hurt to look into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewBond007 View Post
3) How realistic is setting up a job before the move? My background is pretty varied and I would honestly work whatever job that would allow me to survive. Since I have never done a job search that was not in the local area, does anyone have any advice? I snagged a few websites from the other moving posts so finding spots to look for work should not be a problem.
That would depend on what kind of job you are looking for. For more professional jobs, you could possibly get hired before you arrive. If you are looking for more of an entry level position- like as a Barista at Heritage Coffee Co or at Silverbow Bagels, then you probably shouldn't expect to be hired before you arrive. However, the job market is good right now and if you are willing to be flexible I have no doubt that you can find something relatively quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewBond007 View Post
Thank you in advance.
Why, you're very welcome. I hope it helps, and feel free to pm me anytime you'd like if you have more questions. I can give you my e-mail if you prefer.

For more information...
Alaska Marine Highway System :: Alaska DOT&PF
Capital Transit, City and Borough of Juneau
Lynden Transport
JuneauEmpire.com: The Online Voice of Alaska's Capital City - Daily Newspaper
Alaska Airlines / Horizon Air
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