Mayor Matthes letter regarding fast ferry

Port Orchard Mayor Tim Matthes, in a bit of a coup, lost his seat on the Kitsap Transit board last month to city councilman Rob Putaansuu. Putaansuu had been serving the board as an at-large member. He said the board owes it to the public to ask whether they want cross-Sound ferry service because of all of the time and money invested in building the low-wake Rich Passage 1.

Matthes isn’t  enamored with the boat. Not being a board member didn’t prevent him from saying so. During the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting, he read a critical letter he’d written. He said the list of mechanical problems grows with nearly every sailing and there are safety issues. If the foil or strut had a breakdown at high speed, the ferry could dig into the water and splinter like hydroplane at Seafair.

“Passengers and crew would be thrown around the cabin like rag dolls, causing injuries and  loss of life,” he wrote.

Here’s a line  to the complete letter: 2015-01-06 Citizen Comment- Matthes



5 thoughts on “Mayor Matthes letter regarding fast ferry

  1. Mayor Matthes is right on track. The RP1is and was an experimental vessel. Even the USN has had problems with first in class vessels and it has cost taxpayers billions of dollars over the years. The estimated 34 million I heard from one transit meeting will become a drop in the bucket to taxpayers in the next 20 years if the passenger only ferry plan is initiated by our elected officials.
    Roger Gay
    South Kitsap

  2. I am glad to see that the letter (which is actually his comments from a public meeting) made its way over here after circling on social media since last night. It is an important perspective that all Kitsap citizens should read.

    Thank you Mayor Tim Matthes for this contribution to a much larger and more extensive community conversation that is still yet to be had.

  3. I’m curious why we needed to reinvent the hydrofoil for this area. Aren’t there successful/proofed designs available that don’t have all these issues?

  4. I am so glad that Mayor Tim Matthes has taken a leadership position and informed the public of the concerns that should be addressed BEFORE the Rich Passage 1 is put into service or more of the same or similar design are purchased. This specific boat has had a nonstop tail of maintenance issues, design flaws and mishaps. Cracks in foils/struts and failing motor mounts are not trivial things to be downplayed. The exhaust fell off? Really???!!!

    Remember this is an “experimental” vessel, NOT a proven and time tested design. Time to get an honest third party professional evaluation of this vessel and all operations, system failures, maintenance issues and mishaps so far. That full evaluation needs to be presented and published to the public and easily accessible, not just reviewed at a board meeting in the middle of a work day that most citizens are working.

    It is also highly concerning that Mayor Matthes who has related experience and worked for the Navy Hydrofoil Program was pushed off the Kitsap Transit Board favoring a representative with banking experience. How is that helping the mission of this vessel or board in making the technical decisions? Why is Port Orchard’s Council not unanimously voting to make Mayor Matthes’s expertise and industry knowledge available for the benefit of taxpayer?

    The local ferry/transit tax proposal should be dead in the water until a lot of issues are resolved and a transparent full evaluation is publicly made easily available.

    Again thank you Mayor Matthes. I’ll stand next to you if nobody else has the courage to.

  5. Thanks Mayor Matthes for stating the facts. All too many times Kitsap Transit and many electeds will rally to provide us with something THEY think we all need for 100 people that want to save 15-20 minutes on a ride to Seattle. How many times has this raised it’s ugly head? Get ready people YOU will be taxed for 100 people that are dumb enough to get on a boat that is known to have problems no matter how Kitsap Transit spins and trys to hide the facts. Oh! to include a fuel source on Bremertons’ waterfront. Danger? Get your wallets OUT.

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