The Senate passed HB 1129 today. This is the bill that funds building the third 144-car ferry. The vote count was 41 yeas, 8 nays. If you have time, please drop a thank you email to those senators who supported the bill. Here is the roll call report:
Ferry vessel replacement
Senate vote on 3rd Reading & Final Passage as Amended by the Senate
Yeas: 41 Nays: 8 Absent: 0 Excused: 0
Voting Yea: Senator Angel, Bailey, Baumgartner, Becker, Benton, Billig, Chase, Cleveland, Conway, Dammeier, Darneille, Eide, Fain, Fraser, Frockt, Hargrove, Hatfield, Hewitt, Hill, Hobbs, Honeyford, Keiser, King, Kline, Kohl-Welles, Liias, Litzow, McAuliffe, McCoy, Mullet, Nelson, O’Ban, Parlette, Pearson, Pedersen, Ranker, Rivers, Roach, Rolfes, Schoesler, Tom
Voting Nay: Senator Braun, Brown, Dansel, Ericksen, Hasegawa, Holmquist Newbry, Padden, Sheldon
This message comes from Brad Jurkovitch of the Washington Ferry Coalition:
Update to Washington Ferry Coalition: On Wednesday, the State House of Representatives passed a funding bill (SSHB 1129) to build a 3rd 144-car ferry by a solid 62-36 vote. Information on the bill and roll call vote available at this link. This bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. Thank you for your continued work to support the Legislature to approve this important step to replace aging vessels in the WSF system.
Think about contacting State Senators to support Senate passage of this bill. Email addresses for all member of the State’s Senate Transportation Committee are available here.
The bill did not come up for a vote today as expected because of time. It will be voted on tomorrow. If you have written to the legislators referenced in the message from a couple of days ago, thank you. The feedback from Olympia is that these letters are making a difference. If you have not had a chance to write yet, there is still time. The email list is available here. Thanks!
I apologize for the short notice, but our state legislators will be voting tomorrow on funding that would pay for a third 144-car ferry independent of what else may be considered in an overall transportation package. More information, a sample email, and addresses for key legislators are provided below in a message from the Ferry Community Partnership listserv. I hope you will have time to send off an email.
FCP Members: Important Update on 3rd 144-car Ferry Funding:
While a broader transportation package still could emerge during the remaining 45 days of the legislative session, members of the House Transportation Committee are scheduled to vote this Wednesday on SHB 1129, to fund a 3rd 144-car ferry. Approval of the bill this session will take advantage of the cost efficiencies associated with continuing the 144-car ferry building program now that it is ramped-up and delivering on schedule and on-budget, and will meet the critical need to replace the oldest boats in the fleet to prevent serious disruption to the ferry system and communities when 50-year plus boats go out of service.
We need you to encourage and thank the legislators for taking this step with HB 1129. Please simply send an email to several of the legislators below with a short message along these lines:
Dear Representative Smith: I strongly support your efforts to move SHB 1129 forward to fund the 3rd 144-car ferry this session. We must replace our oldest boats to prevent damage to the communities, businesses and families dependent on the ferries for their marine highways. Delay will only drive the construction cost up and your reforms have helped deliver boats on-schedule and on-budget. Thank you for your work and support on this important economic issue.
Name & Company
These are State Representatives you can email immediately:
In his weekly update published July 13, David Moseley discussed recent Federal funds awarded to Washington ferries. He wrote:
New federal funding for WSF
Last week the U.S. Congress passed a federal transportation bill that will provide approximately $40 million for WSF over the next two years. This new source of funding will be a tremendous benefit to the ferry system. The average age of Washington’s ferries is significantly older than other major U.S. ferry systems, making our maintenance and infrastructure replacement costs higher. Funding will be used to renovate, replace and/or upgrade vessel components and systems including steel structures, interior spaces, piping, propulsion, major mechanical/electrical, communication/navigation/lifesaving and security equipment. Specific upcoming tasks which this project may cover include hull and topside paint and restoration of sea valves and propulsion systems. These funds will also help support WSF’s ongoing efforts to retrofit and improve vessels for greater fuel economy, making our ferry system more efficient and better able to deal with rising fuel costs, which have added substantially to our operating budget. The funding will also help pay for the Southworth Timber Trestle & Terminal Replacement Project, currently scheduled for construction in 2015-2018, and for propulsion system and navigation equipment for the new Olympic Class (144-car) ferries.
The bill that provides these funds is called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) and is summarized here. According to Larry Ehl, founder and editor of Transportation Issues Daily, this bill is significant because ferry systems will receive a portion of these federal funds based on a formula instead of earmarks or competitive grants. Read his recent blog post to learn more.
An agreement between WSF and Vigor Industries was signed this week for construction of a second new 144-car ferry. Work on this new ferry is scheduled to begin in December of this year. The current schedule calls for the first new ferry to be in service by early 2014 and the second by early 2015. More information is available here.
An article from the Kitsap Sun discusses Rep. Morris’ idea for WSF and BC Ferries to explore the option of purchasing boats together to save costs.
“Vigor Shipyards of Seattle is building two 144-car boats for the state. The more it builds, the cheaper they’ll get, said the Mount Vernon Democrat, no matter who’s paying. The first boat is estimated at $147 million, the second at $129 million and the third could fall around $90 million, he said…
” ‘We should explore any idea that will cut the cost of building ferries,’ said Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor. ‘Sharing a multi-boat buy with BC Ferries could be a good way to bring more work to our outstanding Puget Sound shipbuilders.’
“By law, Washington State Ferries’ vessels must be built in-state. BC Ferries’ boats can be constructed anywhere. Its last batch was built in Germany…”
Read the full story here: BC, Washington ferry officials to explore benefits of working together