Lessons Learned During Boat Breakdown

I wrote the other day about Washington State Ferries coming up with a backup plan for the next time Bremerton goes down to one boat. That came from a visit to Bremerton by ferries director David Moseley and a bunch of his people. With riders’ help, they’re putting a backup schedule in ink for the next time something happens. There’ll only be one car ferry and a couple passenger-only boats, but at least you’ll know when they’re coming and going.

Some riders complained that notification came late about how WSF was going to handle the Walla Walla’s breakdown. Sitting on my butt in front of my computer, it seemed like the info might’ve actually come too fast, before they knew what was going on.  One thing you can’t criticize Moseley about is communication. He’s out there practically every day talking to one group or another. It’s obviously a high priority.

The problem was, it was believed that there would be two passenger-only boats the next morning, and that was announced on sailings from Seattle the night before, but one of the Victoria Express boat’s certificate of inspection had expired and it couldn’t be renewed on time.

There were other hurdles that operations director Steve Rodgers pointed out the other night. There was no ramp in Bremerton for passengers to board the foot ferries. They had to build one on the spot. It’s now sitting down on the dock, ready to go next time.

Rodgers said the car ferry didn’t run at 6:20 a.m. sailing from Bremerton because they didn’t know if riders would prefer the big boat at 6:20 or 4:50 in the morning. Sounds like a no-brainer even to me, and riders made sure to make that clear for next time.

Rodgers said there’s not enough room at the dock for more than two state passenger ferries and two from Kitsap Transit. I have no idea about that, but I will ignorantly say they should be able to figure something out. Seems getting that third passenger ferry is the key to making this thing work.