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. Details are below:
Bainbridge Island: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 6, Waterfront Park Community Center (Senior Center) Huney Hall, 370 Brien Dr. S.E.
Friday Harbor: 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 10, San Juan County Administrative Office Building, Legislative Hearing Room, 55 Second Street
Whidbey Island: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, Whidbey Telecom Community Media Conference Center, 1651 Main St. (Freeland)
· Vashon Island: 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 17, Vashon Island High School Cafeteria, 9600 S.W. 204th St.
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: email@example.com. Please indicate “Ferry Fares” in the subject line.
Website: Submit comments utilizing the online comment form on the commission’s website, under “contact us”: http://wstc.wa.gov/ContactUs/feedback.htm
Washington State Transportation Commission
P.O. Box 47308
Olympia, WA 98504-7308
For more information on the ferry fare proposal, visit the transportation commission’s website: www.wstc.wa.gov.