Hearing on ferry fare increase set for Aug. 10

Sunlight on the Edmonds-Kingston ferry in May 2021. (File photo by Barbara Chapman)

A proposed 2.5% across-the-board ferry fare increase is the subject of a public hearing next week. The proposed fare increase was the option selected in a public input poll and is based upon budget requirements passed by the 2021 Legislature. If approved, the new ferry fare rate will be applied each October in 2021 and 2022.

The Washington State Transportation Commission will hold a virtual, final public hearing at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10. Due to COVID-19 limitations still in place for Washington state agencies, the meeting will be conducted using Zoom. The commission will take public testimony at the meeting. People interested in attending need to register on the commission’s website. Those wishing to testify are encouraged to sign-up ahead of the hearing, on the Commission’s website. The meeting will be broadcast live on TVW at www.tvw.org.

Fare recommendations are based upon the Transportation Budget passed by the 2021 Legislature. The budget requires $377 million to be generated from fares over the two-year timeframe, which results in a need for an additional $9.2 million in fare revenues. This equates to an estimated 2.5 percent fare increase if applied across-the-board to all fares. For more information on the commission’s ferry fare proposal, visit the commission’s web site at:  2021-2023 Ferry Fare Setting – Washington State Transportation Commission.

The commission is also proposing a policy change for how a vanpool is defined to ensure the policy matches current law. The proposal decreases the required number of people to be considered a vanpool from the current five people to three people, adjusting the fares accordingly.

All presentations will be available on the commission’s website. For more information about the commission and complete meeting agendas, visit:  www.wstc.wa.gov

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