It is hoped that the legislature will have passed an $8.8 billion transportation budget before the regular session ends today. However, operating and capital budgets are not likely to be passed, meaning a special session will need to be called.
The transportation budget is a compromise that includes a 2.5% fare increase and money to finish building the two new 144-car ferries. Two items I wonder about are $21.7 million to convert the Hyak to a hybrid propulsion system and the Senate’s $250,000 proposal to bring ferries into the Good To Go! payment system. This last idea could seriously impact fares for a single car-driver as the current system has no way to account for the number of people in a car and using Good To Go! is supposed to be a way to eliminate staff at toll booths. This means there would be one set fare per car regardless of the number of passengers. Hopefully this will not make it into the final bill.
More information is available in this article from the Kitsap Sun.