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Author Topic: Washington State Ferries  (Read 5778 times)

Bruce

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Washington State Ferries
« on: October 09, 2021, 01:36:08 AM »

Figured we should have a separate thread for the ferry system.

This week: tons of cancellations and multi-hour waits due to a crew shortage brought on by vaccine requirements. Turns out most of them want to live with COVID forever.

The Seattle Times reports that 140 sailings were cancelled on Friday and 228 people out of 600 were unable to work.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 08:37:17 PM by Bruce »
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jakeroot

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2021, 03:18:21 AM »

I was listening to news radio this afternoon, and the traffic announcer was losing their mind over the delays. It took me a few cycles of listening to the reports to realize the gravity of the situation. I think they eventually went on to claim it as WSF's worst day ever.

I'm a bit surprised that some sort of plan wasn't in place to bring on additional workers to supplant those who want to remain unvaccinated.

Edit: I'm reading that the workers called out sick. Bit harder to prepare for that, I guess.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2021, 03:47:20 AM by jakeroot »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2021, 09:53:11 AM »

I’m really just replying here so this thread shows up in my replied threads.  I really dig the Bremerton-Seattle Ferry whenever I have to work in Kitsap.
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TEG24601

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2021, 10:44:52 AM »

Yea, Mukilteo-Clinton is down to one boat... the only profitable route in the entire system.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2021, 10:16:59 PM by Alps »
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Alps

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2021, 10:16:43 PM »

Please do not turn this into a COVID thread. Please keep this on topic to work shortages only (or other ferry info as the thread evolves). Thank you.

Bruce

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2021, 02:13:43 AM »

In non-cancellation news, there's also a contest to name the next Olympic-class ferry (which will be a diesel-electric hybrid that carries 144 cars).

The deadline was yesterday, so we'll be seeing the first proposals under review in a few weeks: https://wstc.wa.gov/programs/ferry-highway-naming/2021-ferry-naming-process-schedule/

Generally, ferries are named for local Coast Salish tribes or geographic locations, continuing a tradition set by the Black Ball Line before it was acquired by the state to become the modern ferry system in 1951. One of the more serious proposals I've seen is "Snoqualmie", after the tribe of the same name.

A few of the comical entries found by The Seattle Times:

Quote
Geoduck.

Tinkerbell.

Pickleball.

Big Foot.

Big Face.

The Sound and Fury.

King Felix.

Dixy Lee Ray.

Victor.

Namu.

George Washington Bush.

The Hendrix.

Boaty McBoatface or Ferry McFerryface or Floaty McBoaty.

Ivar Haglund. [eccentric owner of the Ivar's seafood chain]

Taxme McTaxme Face.

Jay Loves Suzy.

Gertrude, “to honor Seattle’s earliest cross dresser.”  [a reference to the JP Patches Show]

Louie, Louie. [once proposed as the state song]
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jakeroot

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2021, 12:23:32 AM »

^^^^
Not all of those strike me as comical. I kind of like "Gertrude," "Dixy Lee Ray," "King Felix," and "Ivar Haglund."

Bruce

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2021, 08:37:04 PM »

« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 09:51:37 PM by Bruce »
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stevashe

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2021, 05:52:22 PM »

Looks like there's going to be schedule reductions instead of just cancelling random runs: https://wsdot.wa.gov/news/2021/10/13/state-ferry-temporary-schedule-changes-starting-saturday-oct-16

https://twitter.com/KSNatePilling/status/1448441058719793154

The new schedule is pretty rough, I was very glad that I managed to just make the 10:20 am ferry from Edmonds on Monday by about 6 cars, else I would have had to wait until 11:55!  :no:
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kkt

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2021, 09:39:58 PM »

Quote
Dixy Lee Ray

God no.  Worst governor in recent memory.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2022, 08:34:33 PM »

Gov Inslee has ordered new temporary names for the fleet for the remainder of the MLB postseason:

https://wsdot.wa.gov/about/news/2022/state-ferries-hit-home-run-seattle-mariners-inspired-name-changes
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Bruce

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2023, 08:04:56 PM »

The rest of the Colman Dock passenger waiting area opened today: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/seattles-new-colman-dock-ready-to-open/

The permanent bridge across Alaskan Way on Marion Street is scheduled to open in September.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2023, 03:02:10 AM »

Fares set to increase 4.25% this October and next October to make up for budget shortfalls. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/wa-ferry-fares-to-increase-this-fall-and-next/
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sirrobyn0

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2023, 01:02:03 AM »

I'm in the foothills.  So I don't get on the ferries very often, but I'll take a ferry when headed to the Olympics any day over driving around and dealing with I-5 traffic.  Yup it might seem like the ride is expensive until you figure the cost of gas to drive around.  And of course the ferry system goes to lots of places with no other way of getting there.  It's really a pretty unique thing we have in our backyard, and there is a lot of history both in the ferry system and some of the older ferries.  Anyhow that's all I have for now.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2023, 01:56:27 AM »

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Bruce

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2024, 09:31:53 PM »

The "recovery" plan is scrapped, so ferry service will remain at current, reduced levels indefinitely. WSF will not be able to meet its own projections for restoring Southworth and Bremerton to full service.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/wa-ferry-system-scraps-timeline-for-resuming-normal-service/

No new boats until 2028 at the earliest means a lot of pain ahead.
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Rothman

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2024, 11:06:16 PM »

That sucks.  Wish they'd get their act together.
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Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

jay8g

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2024, 04:27:34 AM »

They haven't even been able to consistently keep to the existing reduced service level lately, due to having far too many boats out of service for pretty much all of fall 2023. Things have been better over the last couple weeks, but I don't see them being able to add service (to bring it closer to pre-2020 levels) anytime soon. 
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kkt

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2024, 06:19:22 AM »

Long-term lack of investment has consequences.
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TEG24601

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2024, 11:07:23 AM »

Long-term lack of investment has consequences.


You are looking at 70+ years of lack of investment.  Originally it was because they just needed to limp along until the bridges were built.  Then people revolted against that, so they had to convince the state to give them money for boats.  They got the lowest bidders, got crappy boats, then the state was reluctant to give them money.  They were able to refurbish a few boats.  They then made the ferries part of the State Routes, in order to get more money.  Eastern Washington cried "foul", and stubbornly refuse to support any real ferry funding.  Then we have a minor rusting issue with older boats, that is easy to fix, and common on boats (the structure was only about 40 years old, but due to "ship of theseus" math, were called 85+), and rather than spending a pittance to fix them, they were crapped for pennies on the dollar, so we then had to rush into production boats no made for our environment, which continually have issues.  Then built other, better boats, with fewer issues (except elevators from the cretaceous period); spend money on poorly designed terminals with illogical decisions.  And deep in the back of their mind, they are sill just "keeping it going" until bridges and/or tunnels can be built.
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kkt

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2024, 11:15:38 AM »

They decided against bridges back in the 1960s, right?  So their choices were:

1. build good boats that will last a reasonable length of time, and continue building more as they need to be replaced
2. abandon the people leaving on the islands

Deciding against 1 means doing 2.
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TEG24601

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2024, 04:02:24 PM »

They decided against bridges back in the 1960s, right?  So their choices were:

1. build good boats that will last a reasonable length of time, and continue building more as they need to be replaced
2. abandon the people leaving on the islands

Deciding against 1 means doing 2.


As far as most of the state is concerned... "screw the islands".  That seems to be the prevailing choice.


The boats they have built, lasted 60+ years, and could go longer if it wasn't for an arbitrary retirement date imposed by Gov. G.  But they have set aside funding for new boats multiple times since 1995, and they actually got the Jumbo Mk IIs built.  Then I-695 happened, and they lost their cash cow for funding of ferries.  So they designed the Olympic Class in the early 2000s, and they didn't get built until the late 2010s.  The K-D-Ts were a poorly modified design from Maryland, that doesn't work well in our waters, and were only built for one route, when the reality was that route was to have the troublesome dock moved to a better location in 2005, again cancelled due to lack of funding. So we spent 10x more on specially built ferries instead.  There have been discussions about other taxes that could be levied to improve service, but no one on the east side of the sound wants to pay for the ferries, since they don't use them regularly, and Eastern Washington wants to privatize the whole thing (see how that worked our for BC), and the west side (plus South and Central Whidbey, Vashon, and the San Juans) don't have the tax bases to really make any meaningful impact.
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They said take a left at the fork in the road.  I didn't think they literally meant a fork, until plain as day, there was a fork sticking out of the road at a junction.

Bruce

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2024, 09:25:17 PM »

Meanwhile Kitsap Fast Ferries keeps increasing its reach and has expanded its fleet through some liquidation deals from other parts of the country. I think it might end up becoming the default commuting option for some WSF markets, especially Southworth and Kingston (since it goes directly to downtown).

Other counties ought to look at offering passenger service to make up for WSF's shortfalls. It's not ideal but at least it gives residents some kind of option even if they have to leave their cars on the mainland (or vice versa).
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TEG24601

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Re: Washington State Ferries
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2024, 11:36:16 AM »

Meanwhile Kitsap Fast Ferries keeps increasing its reach and has expanded its fleet through some liquidation deals from other parts of the country. I think it might end up becoming the default commuting option for some WSF markets, especially Southworth and Kingston (since it goes directly to downtown).

Other counties ought to look at offering passenger service to make up for WSF's shortfalls. It's not ideal but at least it gives residents some kind of option even if they have to leave their cars on the mainland (or vice versa).


There have been talks on Whidbey about a Passenger Only ferry from Langley to Everett (and ideally to Camano, so you don't have to drive all the way to Stanwood).  There has even been talk about contracting with Kitsap Transit to provide the service, and maybe extending it to Seattle and Coupeville/Oak Harbor.
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They said take a left at the fork in the road.  I didn't think they literally meant a fork, until plain as day, there was a fork sticking out of the road at a junction.

 


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