State: Mobile app makes navigating July 4 travel rush, tracking ferries easier

Nearly three-quarters of a million people are expected to board Washington State Ferries over the next week and a half. (Photo courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation)

About 700,000 people are expected to ride Washington State Ferries from Friday, June 28, through Sunday, July 7. To help navigate the crowds, the Washington State Department of Transportation encourages travelers to download and use the WSDOT’s mobile app.

The app allows users to:

– See sailing schedules by route.

– View live terminal conditions and traffic cameras.

– Check for rider alerts that provide service updates by route.

– Monitor a real-time map for the location of each operating vessel.

– Make vehicle reservations for the Anacortes/San Juan Islands or Port Townsend/Coupeville route.

Smaller-than-normal vessels
The busy Seattle/Bainbridge, Edmonds/Kingston and Mukilteo/Clinton crossings are operating with two boats on each route. One of the two boats assigned to each route has a smaller-than-normal summer season car capacity due to a lack of available ferries. Boarding wait times for customers in vehicles may be longer than previous July Fourth travel periods.

Busy travel times
The busiest sailings for vehicles will likely be westbound (or onto an island) through Wednesday, July 3, then eastbound (or off island) starting Friday, July 5. To reduce or eliminate waiting, you may consider taking an early morning or late-night sailing or by using transit to walk or bike onto the ferry if possible. There will be a few holiday changes to the daily schedules for the Anacortes/San Juan Islands, Edmonds/Kingston and Point Defiance/Tahlequah routes. Please check the schedules on the app or on WSDOT’s ferry schedules page.

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