A story in the Sequim Gazette today quotes Gov. Christine Gregoire as saying ferry fares can’t keep going up. She was speaking Monday to the Clallam County Democratic Club at the John Wayne Marina.
“Raising ferry fares is not an option because that just reduces ridership which reduces revenue. You never can raise ferry fares enough to be a long-term funding source,” she said.
She said the ferry system was “devastated” by the passage of
Initiative 695, and that it hasn’t had a business plan for retiring
old ferries and replacing them with new ones.
In November 1999, state voters approved Initiative 695 that eliminated the 2.2 percent excise on motor vehicles that provided as much as $52 million, or 23 percent, of the system’s revenue.
Between 2001 and 2006, fares increased 62 percent while ridership dropped by 11 percent, or three million fewer vehicles and passengers. The fare increase was more like 80 percent on Kitsap routes.
For the full story, go here.