State transportation commission seeks comments on funding additional ferry fuel costs

The Edmonds-Kingston ferry in February 2022. (File photo by David Carlos)

The Washington State Transportation Commission is seeking public input on the possibility of applying a ferry fuel surcharge to ferry fares in the future, to help cover growing fuel costs for the state ferry system.

The ferry fuel surcharge has been a possible funding tool available to the state since 2011 in the event fuel budgets fall short. However, due to more stable fuel costs in years past, the surcharge has never been activated by the commission.

Under the current regulation, the ferry fuel surcharge could be activated upon commission approval. If activated, the surcharge would be added to the fare and could be in an amount from 2.5% to 10% of the fare, depending on the funding gap the surcharge is addressing.

The public can now weigh in on whether a fuel surcharge should be added to ferry fares and how it could be applied. The commission is hosting an online public input forum through Wednesday, Nov. 30. All input gathered will be shared with commission members at their virtual meeting scheduled for Dec. 13 and 14 and will help inform discussions around future ferry fuel funding needs during the upcoming 2023 Legislative session.  

In addition to providing comments via the online forum, public comment on a possible ferry fuel surcharge can also be offered in the following ways:

For more information about the commission, visit:

  1. Lets face it they will do what they do. In the rest of the country fuel costs have gone down. My friends just took a trip to their winter home and they paid 2.31 a gallon. So uh I don’t think we need to increase the ferry costs again. Do what you want but people will probably just not use the ferry as much so it will be a wash anyway. I remember the time when you could buy on this side and return free. So now that of course doesn’t exist anymore. Besides I thought you were going to have some electric etc ferries? Just a pipe dream? I will drive around to the other side. Many will. But do what ya want and see for yourselves. Good luck.

  2. Fuel costs were stable or falling through 2020, then Joe Biden was elected and within 5 minutes put a great big Padlock on the oil, gas and coal industries to satisfy his eco-wacko base who do not realize oil,, gas and coal run everything economy wise in this nation ( and the world for that matter ) wind and solar are not on any near horizon, period. Add to that, governor Inslee is a tax, tax, tax zealot and backed up by a democrat congress. Inslee & co. Could not care less that everyone except the rich are getting crushed by his idiotic and radical policies. Bottom line, we get the government we deserve and apparently the voters in this state like all of this hardship or they would not keep voting for one party rule for the past 40 years with no other points of view considered.

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