Tag Archives: color-coded

About that new color-coded ferry schedule

The in basket: Perhaps you recently saw Sun reporter Ed Friedrich’s report on Washington State Ferries’ latest effort to make its online departure schedules more helpful.

Ferry managers have added a color-coded chart to their online site that shows which departures are most likely to have more vehicles trying to get aboard than there will be room for.

The runs shown in red are called Most Congested: Likely to wait one sailing or more.

Yellow shows Moderate Congestion: Vessels can fill close to sailing time.

And then there are green boxes denoting Least Congested: Vessels typically not full.

It seems like an excellent idea that could help distribute the demand to the benefit of the users and save drivers a lot of waiting.

But I have a question.

The out basket: I’m an infrequent ferry rider, and the only departure with which I have enough experience to have an opinion is the 10:55 a.m. Sunday one out of Southworth. My wife and I take it to go to matinee productions at the Fifth Avenue Theater,

The chart tells me that’s a red run. In fact. every Southworth departure from 9:20 a.m. on each Sunday is shown in red.

That didn’t sound right to me as regards the 10:55 a.m. I’d never seen anything close to an overload on that run. I made a point of checking on April 10 on our way to “9 to 5” (if you haven’t seen it you’re missing a treat). The main tunnel of the ferry was only a third full when we left Southworth. The ferry was closer to full (but still had room) after leaving Vashon. I wouldn’t expect the condition leaving Vashon to be reflected on the Southworth chart.

I wonder if some of you more frequent ferry riders have spotted any similar oddities on the color-coded charts on that or other runs. (Ed questioned a few that struck him as odd). I suspect there may be some nuances involved in interpreting the charts.