Proposed schedule changes aim to alleviate overloaded ferry route
With the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry route struggling to keep up with its existing schedule, Washington State Ferries (WSF) is proposing changes.
The route was designed so that two 124-car Issaquah class ferries could depart almost every half hour during peak periods of the day.
Since those ferries were replaced with the 144-car Tokitae class ferries in 2014, ferries have consistently been departing late, resulting in delays.
Last year, more than 4 million passengers traveled on the route.
With another busy summer ahead, WSF has proposed schedule changes to begin June 25 to help improve on-time performance.
WSF projects staff plan to discuss the changes, answer questions and collect feedback at a drop-in open house from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, at the Clinton Community Hall at 6411 S. Central Ave. in Clinton.
“WSF is committed to improving on-time performance on this route,” Senior Planning Manager Ray Deardorf said.
“We need to make schedule adjustments to improve reliability and provide predictability for our customers, especially when customers are making local transit connections.”
The proposed schedule adjusts afternoon sailing times to accommodate heavy vehicle traffic and allow more time for loading and unloading vehicles.
WSF is not proposing any service cuts; the new schedule includes the same number of daily sailings.
WSF will monitor the new schedule in a six-month pilot project through fall 2017, at which time the schedule would be re-evaluated.
No formal presentation will be made during the public hearing. Instead, attendees are encouraged to review the proposed changes online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/outreach/mukilteo-clinton-schedule-changes.
For those unable to attend, comments can also be made online.