Early last month it because clear that one consequence of the proposed budget cuts could be moving the new MV Salish from the Port Townsend run for which it was originally built to the San Juans interisland run. If this comes to pass, it has a negative impact on both Port Townsend and the San Juans. Here is an update published on 1/1/11 in the Kitsap Sun.
SECOND NEW FERRY ARRIVES, BUT WHERE’S IT GOING?
Todd Shipyards will deliver the second new 64-car ferry to Washington State Ferries in the spring. By then, maybe the state will know to which route the Salish will be assigned.
The plan had always been that one of the new ferries would serve the Port Townsend-Coupeville route during the slow half of the year and two would be on the route during the busy half, just like the Steel-Electrics did. The first new boat, the Chetzemoka, joined the route on Nov. 15.
If the Legislature accepts Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget proposal for 2011-13, there won’t be a second one. The governor, in a move to help plug a projected $5.7 billion deficit, proposes to move the second new 64-car ferry from Port Townsend-Coupeville to the San Juan inter-islands route, bumping the island’s 87-car Evergreen State to Fauntleroy-Vashon Island-Southworth. The 124-car Issaquah would move from the triangle route to Seattle-Bremerton and Bremerton’s 144-car Super-class ferry would become inactive. The new, smaller lineup would require fewer crew members and less fuel, saving the state about $10.5 million. The governor also proposed to eliminate Bremerton-Seattle runs later than 9:05 p.m.
The Legislature will use Gregoire’s proposal to craft its own transportation budget during the upcoming session.