Vehicle reservation program moving forward?

One of the reasons this group initially formed in fall of 2010 was out of concern about the proposed vehicle reservation system. At the time, the WSF website had a timeline posted that indicated a plan to move forward with implementation of the reservation system in the San Juan Islands in summer 2011. Obviously, that hasn’t happened.

In speaking with some members of our Ferry Advisory Committee, we were assured that WSF would not move forward with the reservation system at this time due to the fiscal crisis and the cost of the proposed system. Last winter, members of the Ferry Caucus wrote a letter to WSF saying that they did not support moving forward with the reservation system.

It was surprising then to read the following update on the reservation system in David Moseley’s weekly update:

Vehicle reservations system partnership meeting
I met with the Port Townsend/Coupeville Partnership on Thursday evening to provide a status update on vehicle reservations and to get initial feedback on proposed improvements. I really appreciate the commitment of the partnership members and I greatly value their feedback. For handouts from this meeting and more information on planning for vehicle reservations, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Ferries/Planning/VehicleReservations.htm.

According to the website, there is a plan to convene a San Juan Islands customer group to discuss implementation schedule and options beginning in Summer 2012.

This system will cost millions of dollars. At a time when we have less service than we had when the steel-class ferries were operational, when we have a critical need for new boats, and when fares are increasing and ridership falling, we don’t understand why WSF is moving forward with vehicle reservations.

Perhaps this question needs to be posed during the upcoming WSF community meeting  in early December that will be held in Friday Harbor.

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About sjbrooksyoung

Susan Brooks-Young has been involved in the field of instructional technology since 1979. She was one of the original technology users in the district where she taught and has continued to explore ways in which technology can be used to facilitate student learning. She has worked as computer mentor, technology trainer, and technology curriculum specialist. Prior to establishing her own consulting firm, Susan was a teacher, site administrator, and technology specialist in a county office of education in a career that spanned more than 23 years. Since 1986, she has published articles and software reviews in a variety of education journals. She is also author of a number of books which focus on how school leaders can implement the NETS*A Standards. Susan works with educators internationally, focusing on practical technology-based strategies for personal productivity and effective technology implementation in schools. Susan and her husband live on Lopez Island, WA.

2 thoughts on “Vehicle reservation program moving forward?

  1. John Whetten

    I heard rumblings of work on a reservation system and requested that someone from WSF brief the FAC as soon as possible. In response, David Moseley answered that he would be prepared to talk about reservations (and, presumably, answer questions) at the public meeting scheduled for December 1 from 5:30-7:30 in Friday Harbor. It will be very difficult for residents of other islands to attend this meeting, but it will be streamed live. Because of the poor quality of some previous “streams,” I am going to try and reserve the Lopez Library meeting room for this time (where video steaming has been successful). In any case, this will be a chance to find out what is really going on regarding reservations. My main concern is that a plan for reservations will be hatched without regard to cost or difficulty of implementation (like we are seeing for the new 14-foot or under car fare, which is causing all kinds of problems at the toll booths, because WSF does not have the technology to accurately measure car lengths). At Lopez, for example, we would have to make more land for additional traffic lanes (or acquire someone elses land), increase staff, and put in a toll booth–for starters, in order to make reservations work. WSF needs to be made aware of issues like these! Please put this data on your calendar!
    –John Whetten, Lopez rep, FAC

    Reply

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