Members of the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) will be on the interisland ferry Monday afternoon (July 8) and in Anacortes Monday evening for community input on proposals related to ferry fare increases and modifications. The notice sent from WSTC is shown below.
The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) has released a proposal increasing ferry fares and modifying some fare policies. The WSTC is gathering public comments now so please get involved and share your views.
Here is a summary of the proposed changes – all would take effect on October 1, 2013, unless otherwise noted:
Across-the-board general-fare increase: 2 percent increase on passenger fares and 3 percent increase on vehicle fares; 2 percent increase on passenger fares and 2.5 percent increase on vehicle fares on May 1, 2014.
Fare increase for the Anacortes-Sidney, BC route: 4.1 percent increase on Anacortes-Sidney vehicle and passenger fares; 2.5 percent increase on Anacortes-Sidney vehicle and passenger fares on May 1, 2014.
Consolidate the current one-way fares to and from Friday Harbor and Sidney, BC, into one round-trip fare.
Complete implementation of a three-phase plan that was started in 2011, providing reduced fares for smaller vehicles. In this final phase, the vehicle fare for cars less than 14 feet will be charged 70 percent of the vehicle fare charged for standard vehicles (14 feet to less than 22 feet).
Eliminate the motorcycle oversize surcharge. Vehicles that currently pay the motorcycle oversize surcharge will pay either the under 14 feet vehicle fare or the motorcycle fare depending on their size.
Increase the youth discount from the current 20 percent off the full fare, to 50 percent off the full fare.
The WSTC is holding several public meetings in ferry-served communities to gather comments. Meeting dates and locations are as follows (further details are on the WSTC web site linked below):
Monday July 8 – San Juan Islands Interisland Ferry (in the afternoon) and Anacortes (in the evening)
Wednesday, July 10 – Coupeville
Thursday, July 11 – Vashon Island
Monday, July 15 – Bainbridge Island
Tuesday, July 16 – Port Orchard
The Commission is expected to make a final decision on the proposed changes at their final hearing on July 30th at 3:00 pm in Seattle at Union Station. The public will be able to testify at the final hearing as well.
If you cannot make it to one of the public meetings, you can provide comments a few other ways:
In writing: WSTC Fare Proposal / PO Box 47308 / Olympia, WA 98504-7308
For more detail on the proposed changes and upcoming public meetings, please visit the WSTC web site: http://wstc.wa.gov/WhatsNew/FerryFareRateSettingPublicOutreach.htm
Dan O’Neal, Chairman
Washington State Transportation Commission