State Sells It’s Passenger Ferries, Leases Somebody Else’s

I found it ironic that I got press releases 22 minutes apart this morning, one saying the state was leasing private passenger ferries for when the Hood Canal Bridge closes, the other saying it had completed the sale of its own passenger ferries.

I wrote back in November that the state was selling its Chinook and Snohomish to Golden Gate Transportation for $2 million apiece. They finished the deal on Friday. The boats cost $9.7 million and $9.8 million, respectively, when they were built in 1998 and 1999. They’d mostly been sitting around since the Legislature ordered Washington State Ferries to get out of the fast ferry business and sell the boats.

They might’ve come in handy in May, however, when the Hood Canal Bridge will close for six weeks. The DOT said today that it will lease boats for two months from Victoria Express of Port Angeles. State crews will operate them. The lease price wasn’t mentioned.