Monthly Archives: September 2013

WSF’s Moseley on canceled sailings, training more workers

In his weekly update, Washington State Ferries director David Moseley had this to say about several canceled sailings last Saturday and what he intends to do to keep it from happening again:

“I share in our customers’ frustration over the cancelled sailings on the Point Defiance/Tahlequah and Vashon Island/Southworth/Fauntleroy routes Saturday, Sept. 7 due to staffing issues.  I know each and every sailing is important, and it is disheartening to cause inconvenience to those who depend upon our services.  Since the U.S. Coast Guard’s required-staffing increase in November 2012 and March 2013, we have struggled to maintain required crew levels.  This has been especially true during our busy summer season. We usually succeed in staffing vessels for our 450 daily sailings throughout the system, but last Saturday we failed to do so.

“Our dispatch center has worked overtime to fill shifts.  This last weekend for example, they made nearly 800 calls to fill positions.  On any given day there are 70 members of the fleet unavailable due to vacation, compensation time, sickness or injury, Family and Medical Leave Act, etc., requiring us to fill those positions.  We were successful in filling most of the positions over the weekend, but it wasn’t enough to avoid canceling some sailings. On the average day, we make about 300 calls to fill staffing gaps.

“We will fix this problem. At the conclusion of the summer season (in about a week), we will begin a process to provide more training opportunities to increase our pool of available crew.  We will also discuss with our union representatives the possibility of initiating a “stand-by program.”  We will explore all options until this issue is resolved.”

Volunteers needed to count bicyclists, peds

How many bicyclists and pedestrians do you suppose you see each day?

The Washington State Department of Transportation and Cascade Bicycle Club are seeking volunteers to help them find out. Bremerton and Bainbridge Island are two of the 38 cities throughout the state where they could use a hand.

Nearly 60,000 were counted last year, the fifth time they did the three-day survey. It’ll be Oct. 1 through Oct. 3. State Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson says it helps the state more accurately measure demand, gauge the results of state investments and plan for future improvements.

Those interested in participating can learn more by visiting the DOT website or contacting Cascade Bicycle Club at or calling (206) 861-9890.