Notes: Ferry Advisory Committee Meeting 11/09

The November FAC meeting was held on Orcas Island. Several very important topics were on the agenda including the appointment of a new FAC rep for Orcas Island, the proposed Winter schedule, and questions about the proposed reservation system. Please take a few minutes to review John Whetten’s notes which are posted below.

I think the issue of the reservation system needs to be taken very seriously.

We need to plan to bring this up during the WSF community input meeting that will be held in early December. The meeting time is not convenient for residents of islands other than San Juan. John is looking into the possibility of reserving the meeting room at the library on Lopez where they have the equipment and bandwidth to stream the meeting. I don’t know what the situation is on Orcas or Shaw, but people on Lopez were not able to participate in last year’s meeting due to insufficient bandwidth for streaming in individual homes.

Here are John’s notes:

These are some brief notes (not minutes) from today’s FAC meeting on Orcas. Attending: All FAC members (except John Brantigan), Melissa Johnson (WSF), Tom Cowan (Transportation Commission), Patti Miller, Lance Evans.

1. We welcomed Larry Vandermay as the new FAC rep from Orcas. Larry lives in Olga.
2. The Winter 2012 draft schedule will appear on the WSF website in the next day or two. With a couple of 5-minute or so changes, it is identical to the Winter 2011 schedule. Comments are welcome. Although comments may be accepted on the WSF website, we encourage interested islanders to comment on the FAC’s County website. There will be two “direct” Lopez-Anacortes sailings per day, and there will be separate schedules for weekdays and weekends in order to tie up the interisland boat on weekends.
3. There will be a public meeting with David Moseley on December 1 from 5:30-7:30 in the Legislative Hearing Room in Friday Harbor. It will be streamed live and I will try and arrange for the Lopez Library meeting room, where the video quality is supposedly better than what one can get at home. This is an important meeting! (See #4, below)
4. We hear rumblings of planning for ferry reservations, but have absolutely no details. David Moseley has said he will be prepared to speak and answer questions about reservations at the December 1 meeting. Our concern is that a plan may be drawn up which fails to recognize the constraints of island terminals, such as Lopez, which does not have the space for a reservation lane nor the personnel or equipment to operate a reservations system. IF YOU WANT TO HEAR ABOUT
RESERVATIONS AND ASK QUESTIONS, this is an important meeting. (The video conferencing at the Library is two-way; if you watch this at home you can submit questions by email.)
5. Melissa Johnson said that WSF was having problems implementing the recently introduced 14-foot and under car fare. Apparently there are lots of cars that are “about” 14 feet long–some an inch or two longer, others, an inch or two shorter. Drivers are buying 14-foot and under multi-ride tickets, then finding out that their cars don’t qualify. At present, WSF cannot afford the technology to accurately measure car lengths.
6. Tom Cowan reported on a committee of which he is a member that is considering merging all the different State toll media–Wave2Go, Orca card, bridge tolls, and others. The implications and costs are staggering. See the FROG survey, which just came in.
The December FAC meeting will be in Friday Harbor, and the January meeting at the Lopez Library. Both on the second Wednesday. The Lopez meeting will be 1:30-3:30 pm.

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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.

One thought on “Notes: Ferry Advisory Committee Meeting 11/09

  1. Adrienne Adams

    Thank you, John.
    I am currently looking into item 6, the electronic fare media issue–which everyone should know is intimately connected with the proposed reservation system. While it is true that revamping the fare technology will be expensive, it’s becoming clear as I read the materials that the current systems are remarkably limited and inflexible.

    We now have three major systems (ORCA, Wave2Go, and Good To Go!) all of which are separate, proprietary, and largely incompatible with each other. With the reservation system WSF will be introducing a fourth system which may or may not work with the existing electronic fare systems. WSF cannot even talk to the vendor responsible for Wave2Go about coordination with the reservation system, as the vendor (Gateway Ticketing) has a “minimum” 12 month wait for technical support!

    I will continue to learn as much as I can about this issue before the December 1st meeting, as I think it is crucial to address our current mish-mash of fare collection technology and whether or not it will work, laden with another layer of complexity–namely the proposed reservation system.


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