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Washington’s ferry fare may increase

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It’s not just toll rates that could soon get more expensive WashingtonFerry rates for both passengers and vehicles may also increase by the end of the year.

At a meeting of the Washington State Transportation Commission on Tuesday, Washington State Ferries senior planning manager Ray Deardorf detailed that an additional $9.2 million in operating revenue would need to be generated by 2023 with fare increases per legislative requirement.

At present, the commission is considering three plans to increase the fare. Under the first plan, fares for both passengers and vehicles will be increased by 2.5% first in October 2021 and then by the same amount in October 2022. Drivers will have to pay 80 cents more in fares by the end of the two-year period, while passengers will pay an additional 40 cents.

The other option being considered by the Commission would include a 3.1% increase for vehicles starting October 2021, with no change for walk-on passengers in 2021. However, passenger and vehicle fares will increase by 2.5% in the second year. For drivers, this would mean an additional 90 cents by the end of the two-year period, while passengers would only experience a 20 percent increase.

Deardolph said the plan was designed to encourage more walk-on passengers who are still below pre-pandemic levels.


Vehicle fares for the first and second years in the third and final plan will still increase by 2.5%, but there will be no change in passenger fares for 2021. However, next year’s fare hike for both vehicles and passengers will come first under this scheme. , in May instead of October. By 2022, drivers will experience an 80 percent increase in existing fares, while fares for passengers will increase by 20 cents.

All three plans will generate approximately $14.3 million in additional surcharges from drivers and passengers. For residents and stakeholders, WSF will hold outreach meetings on May 25-26.

Washington’s ferry system has already become thin after the Wenache, which holds 202 vehicles, was taken out of service. After a fire broke out in an engine room in April. Four other ships are also being worked on, leaving only 16 ships in service until at least the end of June. Usually 17-18 ships are needed at this time of the year.

Last week, there were several routes A reduction in the size of smaller vessels or a smaller vessel than usual seen As spring and summer travel begins in the region.

WSF spokesman Justin Fujioka said: “All of these changes are likely to increase waiting times for people plying on these routes.” “Customers can reduce or eliminate waiting times by getting on the ferry and traveling early in the morning or late in the evening.”

The committee will decide the fare and toll amount – which 15% increase on State Route 520 bridge and State Route 99 tunnel The latter will be adopted in the fall – later in June – to make up for the revenue shortfall brought on by the pandemic.



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