Sound off on ferry fare increase proposal

Jun 23, 2017
Photo by: Brian Soergel

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 Ferry fares are being asked to weigh in on a new fare proposal that would take effect starting 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. Edmonds is not included, but residents can let their opinions be known the following ways:

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

Website: 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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