2 thoughts on “The Case Against Car Ferries

  1. This is my posting to the Weekly:
    Again doofus Seattle logic rears its myopic head. All roads don’t lead to Seattle, they pass through it. When I drive on the ferry, I’m going some place other than downtown Seattle. As for cutting back to one auto ferry, Chris Kornelis , by default, you have just given Tacoma all the service business because they would have to drive around. Yours is the same kind of logic I observed on the PSRC that counted trucks delivering freight and goods as Single Occupancy Vehicles.

    What you don’t address is that a auto ferry is a very efficient deliverer of rush hour passengers. What you refuse to acknowledge is the earlier study that showed that passenger only ferries to be money losers. They bought the pofs and they were such money losers they’ve been sold. The game now is to give the money losers to the counties to run. Do you really believe that by having someone else do the same thing will give different results? Hey, your sales tax is pushing 10%, want to try for 15%?

    Yes, the crew of an auto ferry will man 2 pofs. However the Hyak capacity is 2,500 vs 240 at best, given the wake considerations. I have seen more passengers waiting to get on an Issaquah class ferry than there was capacity. Those left behind were angry because they were missing a Seahawks game. How long will commuters put up with that on a daily basis? One would like to believe that most cities would jump at and support a transit system that delivers commuters in batches of thousands that doesn’t add to road congestion and puts a significant number in walking distance of work.

    What ought to be going on in that mental dead zone called Seattle are efforts to move ferry riders seamlessly onto transit and off city streets. There is no direct link from the ferry terminal to the Metro bus tunnel. There are no dedicated places for passengers to be picked up in the vicinity of the terminal as happens in Bremerton. Bus schedules don’t mesh with ferry arrivals. There never has been any consideration to use air rights to lift off-loading auto traffic onto a replacement viaduct. If you look at the surface and tunnel options, there is no provision for ferry auto traffic period.

  2. The most cost effective passenger ferry is a car ferry. Bainbridge and Kingston both generate enough revenue to exceed their operating expenses. They do it by carrying 200+ cars along with a 1,000 or 2,000 passengers. They have great schedules and lots of capacity. Back when Elvis was still alive, Bremerton had three cars ferries. That made for more frequent and dependable service. It’s not just how fast the ferry makes the crossing, but how long you have to wait for it. Pof’s require a subsidy of 85%. Who’s going to pay that ? Who’s going to be able to pay the exhorbitant fares? Let’s just get a third car ferry for Bremerton. It worked before. It can work again. Besides, it would help justify the cost of the $32 million Bozeman’s Dig tunnel.

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