Washington State Transportation Commission seeks public comment on ferry fare increases

Edmonds-Kingston ferry file photo by LeRoy VanHee.

The Washington State Transportation Commission is required to adjust ferry fares every two years and is seeking input from the public on fare increase alternatives. The deadline to leave your feedback is June 10.

Fare recommendations are based upon the transportation budget passed by the 2021 State Legislature. The budget requires $377 million to be generated from fares over the two-year timeframe, which requires an additional $9.2 million in fare revenues. This equates to an estimated 2.5% fare increase if applied across-the-board to all fares.

On May 18, Washington State Ferries presented fare change options that will meet legislative funding requirements:

Alternative 1: 2.5% increase applied to all fares on October 2021 and 2022

  • Raises passenger and vehicle fares 2.5% in October of each year.
  • This approach spreads the fare increase equally between vehicles and walk-on passengers.

Alternative 2: Passenger fares remain unchanged in 2021 but increase in October 2022, and vehicle fares increase in 2021 and 2022

  • Passenger fares do not increase in October 2021.
  • Vehicle fares increase 3.1% in October 2021.
  • In 2022, both passenger and vehicle fares increase 2.5% in October.
  • This approach continues to encourage walk-on passengers, which continue to be significantly below pre-pandemic levels.

Comments are invited via the online public input form.

After June 10, the commission will select its fare change proposal and will seek additional public comment.

3 Replies to “Washington State Transportation Commission seeks public comment on ferry fare increases”

  1. I look at this as fair increase. This fairly is important for Edmonds. Every person who has visited us has wanted to go on the fairy. One guest got lucky. 3 orcas swimming along playing the whole trip. Very exciting.
    For those not into boating it’s especially nice. I expect many waiting for their fairy for commuting will eat and enjoy a beverage while parked and waiting. So yeah, this is a no-brainer.


  2. We use the ferry as part of the highway system not as an excursion boat. We live in Edmonds. The ferries that go out of Colman dock are often commuter ferries- hence walk-ones commuting to work downtown Seattle. That should pick up as more people go back to work in offices. I agree with raising the ferry fairs for all. But it is still expensive for seniors – $17+ for the Edmonds ferry!


  3. It’s a ferry not a highway. The state owns the ferry not Edmonds. And yes it is often used as an excursion vessel. Sorry, not trying to be rude but that is reality. People who use this fairy for crossing the soundtrack work chose that way to commute. Median housing prices in Kingston are $443,000. Median housing prices in Edmonds is $850,000. Oak Harbor $ 430,000.
    So, what they spend on housing compared to Edmonds more than makes up for the increase for their chosen commute. Thanks.


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