Weekly news roundup

Ferry news for the week of March 31st to April 6th.

The Senate and House are preparing their separate transportation bills for the 2013-2015 biennium.

The Senate’s proposed bill would not require service cuts, and the “proposed $251 million ferry capital budget includes $107 million to complete new 144-car ferries Tokitae and Samish, and $22 million to convert the Hyak to a hybrid propulsion system. Delivery of the Tokitae is expected in spring 2014, followed by the Samish in early 2015. They will enable two 87-car ferries that are pushing 60 years old to be retired.”

The House is offering up a similar bill, one that includes eliminating some late-night service down sound. The House bill also “provides $107.1 million to complete the building of two new 144-car ferries and $21.7 million to convert the Hyak to a hybrid propulsion system. It adds $10.3 million to cover the cost of increased crew sizes ordered last year by the Coast Guard instead of $11.8 million by the Senate.”

Work is proceeding on the 144-car ferry M/V Tokitae. Check out a cool time-lapse video of the transfer of the superstructure on to the hull.

Transferring superstructure onto hull of Tokitae. Photo courtesy WSDOT.

Transferring superstructure onto hull of WSF’s M/V Tokitae. Photo courtesy WSDOT.

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