Share thoughts on Washington State Ferries plans at San Juans open houses

  • Tue Sep 11th, 2018 3:05am
  • News

Submitted by Washington State Ferries

More than half of Washington State Ferries’ 22-vessel fleet is scheduled to retire by 2040. Five of these ferries are more than 50 years old and need to be replaced immediately to sustain reliable service. These findings are among the key themes of WSF’s newly released draft long-range plan, which will be available for public review and comment starting Sept. 10.

“The ferry system is a critical part of our state’s transportation network and reliability is our customers’ top concern,” said WSF Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton. “This plan makes it clear that we need to invest immediately in building new ferries, improving the customer experience and greening the fleet through 2040 and beyond.”

The draft long-range plan builds upon WSF’s 2009 Long Range Plan as directed by the Washington State Legislature. The plan addresses four major themes:

· Reliable service

· Customer experience

· Managing growth

· Sustainability and resilience

The draft reflects extensive input from the public and stakeholders, including nearly 1,400 comments and survey responses submitted during spring 2018 outreach sessions.

How to comment

Through Oct. 25, WSF invites the public to review and comment on the draft long-range plan. People can view materials and submit comments via an online open house, which will run from Sept. 10 to Oct. 25, at www.wsflongrangeplan.com.

Locally, an open house will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25 at the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts, 204 Village Road, on Lopez Island, as well as from 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 26, at Brickworks, 150 Nichols St., in Friday Harbor. The open houses will display boards that explain the planning process and highlight key plan findings and recommendations. Staff will be available to answer questions, and people will be encouraged to provide written comments or verbal comments to a court reporter. Drop by anytime during any of the open houses; there will not be a formal presentation.