The state Transportation Commission will be talking ferry fare
increases during its monthly meeting Tuesday in Olympia. Generally,
there’s a 2.5 percent “cost-of-living” increase every Oct. 1.
It was different last year, when it happened early, on May 1, to offset revenue lost from expanding the youth discount from 20 percent to 50 percent. Vehicles took a 2.5 percent hit, but passengers got off with 2 percent.
A 2.5 percent hike is assumed in the House and Senate transportation budgets that need to be consolidated and passed soon.
The ferry fare discussion is on the agenda for 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. You can watch it on TVW.
Two routes would have made money last fiscal year (July 1,
2013-June 30, 2014) if Washington State Ferries wasn’t viewed as a
system. Edmonds-Kingston collected 106.7 percent of its operating
costs, and Seattle-Bainbridge 106.1 percent. Overall, fares covered
69.2 of the system’s operations.
The other routes:
Seattle-Bremerton 47.3 percent
Anacortes-San Juan Islands 46.1
Port Townsend-Coupeville 43.7
Point Defiance-Tahlequah 42.9
When the second new 144-car ferry, Samish, joins the Anacortes-San Juans route on June 14, it will domino other boats to new assignments. 144-car Hyak will move from the San Juans to Bremerton. It will replace sister ship Kaleetan, which goes to dry dock until mid-September. The 90-car Sealth goes from the San Juans to Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth, bumping 87-car Evergreen State to standby, along with sister Tillikum.
So the local lineup for most of the summer will be:
Bainbridge: 202 car Wenatchee and Kingston’s 202-car Puyallup because 202-car Tacoma will be in dry dock all summer.
Kingston: 188-car Spokane and Bremerton’s 188-car Walla Walla.
Bremerton: 144-car Hyak and 124-car Kitsap
Southworth: 124-car Issaquah, 124-car Cathlamet and 90-car Sealth.