Ferry ridership rebounding

Washington State Ferries ridership has bottomed out and is headed back up.
The agency on Friday released numbers that showed the largest rider jump — 2.7 percent — in at least 14 years. That’s when it lost license tab revenues, and started jacking up ticket prices and trimming service.
The 2.7 percent calculates to 650,000 riders, enough to fill 260 of its largest ferries.
Total 2014 ridership was 23,193,660, nowhere near the 1999 peak of 26.8 million but moving in that direction. Its the second straight gain (1.5 percent last year) after 13 years of declines. Drivers were up 1.3 percent and passengers 3.9 percent.
Bremerton led the way with a whopping 10 percent gain. Passengers were up 12.6 percent and vehicles 3.2 percent.
Bainbridge rose just half a percent, but remained the busiest route at 6.3 million riders. Edmonds-Kingston and Mukilteo-Clinton continued their annual duel for second. Kingston, boosted by a 3.6 percent gain, edged Mukilteo in 2014, 4 million  to 3.9 million. Traffic picked up less than 1 percent at Mukilteo-Clinton.
Mukilteo, however, led the system with 2,151,070 vehicles, followed by Kingston at 2,098,533 and Bainbridge with 1,953,466.
Two-thirds of Bainbridge and Bremerton riders were passengers.
The Fauntleroy-Vashon Island-Southworth route showed little change, at 0.3 percent.

One thought on “Ferry ridership rebounding

  1. I rode the 1620 ferry from Seattle to Bremerton on Wednesday during what I assume is peak commuter time. Never again if at all possible. There were a very large amount of walk on passengers and it was surprising to see how many immediately took over a bench seat for their use only.

    If the ferry system keeps increasing the number of riders, especially the walk on rider, then I hope the ferry management address’s the rudeness of some of the passengers. A large section of chairs were blocked off on this run and many people ended up sitting outside in the cold. Looking at the bench’s at least 50% had one person laying out taking up the whole bench.

    Maybe WSDOT could set up a section of cots for a small fee for all of the passengers who are so tired they must lay out on a bench seat.

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