Passenger-Only Ferries Across the Pond

Steven Gardner writes:

Ed Friedrich reported Tuesday on King County’s plan to use property taxes increase the use of passenger boats around Seattle, will take over the Vashon-Seattle run and will launch a demonstration boat between Kirkland and the University of Washington. The county will also investigate the feasibility of other routes.

Meanwhile the Puget Sound Regional Council is looking at a regional approach.

One of the complaints (one of many) about Kitsap Transit’s plan that failed with voters in February was that Kitsap was bearing the entire burden.

Port Orchard Mayor Kim Abel made that point at the forum “The Return of the Mosquito Fleet” Monday.

“We were by ourselves,” Abel said. “The new thing is everybody is talking about it in the Puget Sound region.”

Abel said when Kitsap County gets involved, it will only happen after a vote of residents.

13 thoughts on “Passenger-Only Ferries Across the Pond

  1. What Kim Abel and the rest of her leftist Democrats don’t seem to realize is that the Mosquito Fleet was free to operate without the encumbrance of a Union. When that happens, the ferry system will have the opportunity to operate. Let the operations, operate without some moron making $30 per hour working on a boat and fairs will be competitive.

  2. Starting wages for that ferrie system is $20 per hour. Then it goes up from there. This is for 10 openings a year which gets 12,000 applications. Let the market take over instead of the union. Get rid of all of the government regulations also. Let there be open competition. The only thing those ferries need is to be inspected by the Coast Guard on a regular basis for safety. You will see competition take over and fairs will come down. Let each company pay us for use of our docks.

  3. Mr. Bemrose–

    What a vile comment! You just insulted all the people in this county who are represented by unions. You called them over-paid morons! Unions came about because of the abuses of big business. All the building and construction trades are unionized, no? Except for the less-skilled jobs? Maybe the transit companies could become hypocrites and hire illegal aliens and pay them slave wages, like a lot of the developers and their sub-contractors do. I bet you’d like that. Do you turn a blind eye to who your landscaper and cleaning services hire?

  4. Emilie, You are the prime example of why our jobs are heading overseas. Artificially setting wages higher than the market forces command. When this happens, jobs go overseas, like to China. Americans are better workers than anyone else in the world, so let them compete with the world market. However, some jobs can’t go overseas like the ferry unions or the government workers or the teachers. We all suffer because of it and pay more for labor than we ought to.

  5. Jobs go overseas for other reasons besides wages, Gordon. They go there because the mega corporations can avoid environmental and other health regulations. The air, soil and water in China is damaged and the people suffer. Because the regulations are so weak and loosely controlled, many of the imports to this country, as we are discovering, are unsafe.

    It would be wonderful to believe that mega corporations do what is in the best interest of the people who purchase their products, but unfortunately that is not the case.

    If it were, we would not be facing the crises we do, both environmental and health.

    We would suffer far more if we allowed a free market with no regulations, whether wage, environmental or health.

  6. Gordon, why not say what you think a ferry worker should earn?

    Once you’ve defined that wage, since you’re in real estate, let us know what they can afford for housing.

    Maybe lower real estate commissions would help too.

  7. Starting wages for ferries Gordon is 12.88 an hour .

    All those jobs you talking about , well the ferries hire about 60 people for the docks this year , out of that 60 if they do better then last year about 10 will be left . About ten hires are left from last summer . They don’t last long like they use to . Wonder why ?

    To work the first three years you need to be available to be on call with no set hours . This includes being available 24 hours a day seven days a week . I worked four years starting at 10.88 , had a pager so I would not miss a shift if called , I lived off savings to help me pay our bills while I built up my senority and hourly wage . Unless your weird like me and have a savings, most people with a family can not work for the ferries , you need to be young and willing to put up with the nonsense or retired Coast Guard or something and have a set income from another source .

    After you go permanent after 3 to 5 years , things do get better , especially if you can get a dock near where you live .

    After ten years I was up to 17.32 . With the health and benefits not a bad wage , not exactly what people like you promote .

    I am a conservative Gordon , one thing I also do is not make up stuff to make my side appear to appear to have more merit . A token republican in the Union setting . Have always for the most part received much respect from the folks regardless, year my politics don’t make sense to the Union Leadership , but I have yet to be refered to as a moron .

    I work holidays , Sundays , in the snow , in the rain and on beautiful days . I happen to get to meet some of the greatest and nicest people , and also some that have never learned to use a toilet or say thank you when someone goes out of there way for them .

    I enjoy the people I work with for the most part . I am a token republican , but comments like yours always embarrass me because thay have no factual basis in them .
    Your stereotypical hate union speech is stupid . For one thing I could point out many issues politically I have with the positions my Union takes , but I know one thing, I believe I have some valid opinions dealing with the Puget Sound Transportatioon problems , if you want to hear them I would be glad to share them .

    Don’t blame the Union for the states inability to put forth a transportation system . Thats just typical scapegoating .Its also false .

    The young people now hired do not stay on like the folks did when I was hired . Some people blame 695 , I see the legislature not dealing with it as a priority . The stae pulls in billions more then they did since 695 passed .

    Why do so many people quite now , For one wages have caught up with the Ferries the past 2o years . Minimum wage is what 8 bucks , and the starting wage is 12 .88. The other kids do not want to give their whole life to amke a little more then minimum wage . Because basically you have to be available 24/7 the first three to four years if you want to be able to pay your rent .

    So basically unless you are retired and looking for a second career or realize that if you stick out a few lean and without much of a life for a few years , you can come out with a job that pays 20 bucks an hour .
    The average kid now wants things now , hard to keep good people . Thats a statement of our times , and no I don’t think we need to pay people more , perhaps a system where people can have a life though since your only paying them 12.88 an hour might make sense . People like yourself sure don’t see the use in that , and neither does WSF . Thats too bad .

    The wages are available on line , what you are saying is false .
    Being called a moron , well that is part of dealing with the public .

    But If I was paid less I would have quit a long time ago because working in the public gets a little worse every year.

    I have been called worse by people on the job because they chose to come late to a ferry . Actually have been called a F—- Lackey and overpaid moron because more then once a person missed a boat by showing up late . I always feel sorry for who that person is married to when I am called that stuff .

    I happen to make 20 an hour now Gordon , I have 15 years in , not a bad job , and I actually do feel I make more then I should be . If this was the East Coast we would have bridges , my co workers always tell me to keep my thoughts to myself when i say that stuff.

    But I have paid my dues , and I do my job to best I can , when I cleaned toilets I made sure they were clean for people , and now that I have it a little better, get to sell tickets and listen to Mariner Games at the same time on the radio , out of the rain , I thank God , I think He is pro Union by the way .

    Hope you had a Happy Fourth ,

    God Bless America !

  8. Mr. Bemrose,
    Unions are very much part of “market forces.” Just as businesses merge to increase their market share, workers get together to have more bargaining strength. It’s the American way!

  9. Bruce Anderson ~~ And speaking of lowering costs: CRITICAL — lower architecural fees should lead the list.

  10. Jim (aka “architectural slippery slope”) – I’ll bet 1 in perhaps 100 houses are designed by architects, maybe less so, so the relevancy to home prices is pretty meager.

    That said, let’s remember Economics 101 – “costs” are irrelevant to prices. The market doesn’t care one iota what your costs are when they buy your product.

    If your costs exceed the market price, you’re out of business. If you have something highly valued setting a price based on your costs is foolish.

    Many of the transaction costs in home purchases – sales fees, transfer fees, etc. are based purely on percentage of the sale price. Lowering those percentages either saves the purchaser, or devotes more of the sales price to the sellers pocket.

  11. Mr. Bemrose—You just don’t get it. Your responses amount to no more than vile mean-spirited personal name-clling attacks, and reveal you might have a problem of some kind.

    I am the reason jobs are being sucked overseas? I thought it was the opportunist companies that were responsible. They turn a blind eye to the lack of environmental and health safety issues and work people to death in locked sweat shops overseas. Often they don’t even get paid. You also reveal your disdain for all union workers, government workers and now even for those in the honored profession of teaching! How low can you go?

    You didn’t answer my question about whether you are aware if the services you use might be paying the slave wages you’d like to see everyone else here but yourself getting. You forgot to mention that your job also cannot go overseas. Also, our good workers don’t want to do lots of the jobs that are paying the wages you’d like to see everyone getting. You would have this country become one of a few oligarchs lording it over millions of serfs. In this country I have seen illegal farm workers living in holes in the ground covered with boards, cardboard, etc. because they don’t have enough to rent a place even in a slum-lord’s apartments, but in their own country they would be starving or dead. Is this the America you want? Look to yourself before you cast stones, and look to those services you use in your jobplace and on your property.

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