Sound off on ferry fare increase proposal

Jul 05, 2017
Photo by: Nicholas Johnson Vehicle and walk-on passengers ride the 124-vehicle Kittitas ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo on Saturday, July 1.

You wouldn’t think Washington State Ferries would want public comment as it prepares to raise fares again.

But, here’s your chance: Ferry customers and anyone with an interest in Washington State Ferries fares are being asked to weigh in on a new proposal that would take effect in October.

The Washington State Transportation Commission, which sets fares for the nation’s largest ferry system, has released its proposal to increase ferry fares over the next two years.

The proposed increase must generate $381 million in operating revenue between July 1 and June 30, 2019, as required in the recently passed two-year state transportation budget for Washington State Ferry operations.

The commission’s proposal includes two ferry fare increases over the next two years. The commission proposed these increases after considering input from Washington State Ferries and the Ferry Advisory Committee on Tariffs.

 

A summary of the ferry fare proposal:

 

Oct. 1, 2017

  • 2.9 percent fare increase for small and standard sized vehicles
  • 0.8 percent to 1.8 percent fare increase for oversized vehicles (22 feet and longer), depending on vehicle size
  • 2.5 percent fare increase for passengers

 

Passengers who bring bicycles with trailers will see an increase as they begin paying the motorcycle/driver (stowage) rate instead of the combined passenger fare with bicycle surcharge

 

Oct. 1, 2018

  • 2.5 percent fare increase for small and standard sized vehicles
  • No fare increase for oversized vehicles (22 feet and longer)
  • 2.1 percent fare increase for passengers
  • School Group passengers fare will increase from $1 per group for a one-way trip to $5 per group for a one-way trip

 

The commission will be holding four in-person public input meetings – in Friday Harbor, Freeland, Vashon and on Bainbridge Island. If you can’t make it to one of those meetings, you can voice your opinion in the following ways.

Email: transc@wstc.wa.gov. Please indicate “Ferry Fares” in the subject line.

Online: Submit comments using the online comment form on the commission’s website, under “contact us”: http://wstc.wa.gov/ContactUs/feedback.htm.

In writing: Washington State Transportation Commission, PO Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504-7308

Phone: 360-705-7070

For an in-depth look at specific ferry fare proposals, go to http://bit.ly/2rO1STo.

The commission will hold its final hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, at the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Board Room, 1011 Western Ave., Suite 500, Seattle. The commission is expected to take action and vote on the final fare and policy changes at this hearing.

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