Washington State Ferries to hold four public meetings about proposed rate increase

  • Tue Jul 4th, 2017 7:00am
  • News

Submitted by Washington State Ferries

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 this October. The Washington State Transportation Commission 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, 2017, 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 is as follows:

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. No action will be taken at these meetings. The San Juan County meeting will be from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, July 10 in the San Juan County legislative hearing room at 55 Second St., Friday Harbor. WSF will also hold meetings on Bainbridge, Vashon and Whidbey Islands.

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.

In addition to the public meetings listed above, other ways people can comment on the ferry fare proposal are as follows:

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

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

• Write to: Washington State Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504-7308

• Phone: 360-705-7070

For more information, visit www.wstc.wa.gov