Tag Archives: Ferry funding

Reach out to state legislators regarding the transportation package

The state legislature is holding a second special session. The following message comes from Brad Jurkovich, urging Washington residents to call legislators in support of a transportation package that includes funding to build a third 144-car ferry. Please take a moment to make that call!

WA Ferry Coalition – Call to Action.   It appears the Legislature is getting somewhat closer to reaching agreement on the operating budget, but there has been no final action on a new transportation package that includes funding for the next 144-car ferry construction, highways and transit.  The Keep Washington Rolling Coalition has begun radio ads across the state urging the Legislature to pass the transportation package during the second special session.  Here is a link to the ads. http://keepwashingtonrolling.com/   

We can do our part.   Please take a few minutes to contact your legislators by calling the hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and leaving a message for your legislators requesting that they “please pass the transportation package before they go home!   

 

Bi-partisan plan proposed for transportation funding

The following message was sent out this morning through the Ferry Community Partnership group.

Update: The Washington State Senate transportation leaders yesterday released a bi-partisan plan to invest $15 billion in the State’s transportation system over 16 years.   Funding for a fourth 144-car ferry is included in the proposal.   This proposal is an important first step in the 2015 Legislature passing a transportation package.   Hearings are likely to start on this proposal in the Senate on Tuesday and we will provide you an update on the schedule and best ways to participate and encourage action.  Today, please simply clink on a link below and send a short email today to any of the Senator leadership listed thanking them for their work on the transportation proposal and your support of their work.  Thank you.

Here are the members of the Senate Transportation Committee:

Senate passes HB 1129

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

3/7/2014

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

The cost of delaying construction of the 3rd 144-car ferry

Can the construction of the 3rd 144-car ferry be delayed? Yes. Should the the construction of the 3rd 144-car ferry be delayed? No. Jim Corenman, chair of the San Juan Islands Ferry Advisory Council explains why in this excerpt from a piece he wrote earlier this week.

No one likes higher taxes or additional fees, but transportation systems are among the things that individuals cannot do for themselves. Transportation also serves the public good, and needs to be paid for somehow. Since 1999 we have been struggling with how to fund transportation. This bill won’t solve that problem but it will cover one piece of it and get us closer.

Ferries are essential to the Puget Sound communities and important to the economy for the entire state. They take people to work and shopping, attract visitors as a primary tourist attraction, and knit our islands and communities together.

WSF currently has two Olympic 144-car vessels under construction, to replace two of the three oldest boats in the fleet, which are nearing 60 years of age. The advantage of having a “class” of boats is shared parts, tools and skills to maintain them. A class of just one remaining E-State-class boat makes no sense– a complete set of spares for one boat?– and would be very expensive to keep running. And run it must, because WSF has no extra boats– the only designated “spare” in the system is the 34-car Hiyu, too small to be useful anywhere in the system except the San Juan interisland run.

Which is where it was in January while the Evergreen State underwent engine repairs, and where it is again today, covering for the Evergreen State while the Sealth gets repaired. Aging machinery of any sort needs increasing maintenance.

Building a third 144 now allows the contractor to continue the build process and saves the cost of re-tooling and re-training. Stopping and restarting will certainly raise the cost, and changing tacks at this point will cost even more. And one additional 144 allows the aging E-State class to be gracefully retired, avoiding escalating maintenance costs and the increasing chance of some unforeseen fatal breakdown.

Yes, this is not perfect, and certainly we as a state can do better with ferry costs and construction. And of course ferries can continue to operate more efficiently. We are committed to helping find ways of doing all that, but we need some breathing room for the aging fleet.

Update on HB 1129 (funding for 3rd 144-car ferry)

This message came out this morning from the Ferry Community Partnership:

It [HB 1129] was brought up all of a sudden Tuesday afternoon. Sen. Angel voted against it, Sen. Sheldon was absent, but Sen. King voted for it and it passed out of committee. Now it will go to the full Senate for a vote.

Please get either e-mails or phone calls ready for ALL Senators to vote for the bill. Remind them that this boat will need to built anyway, and that they can save 10-20% by building it this year in series with the other two. If we wait for the Transportation Package to be passed in November (at the earliest), we won’t get it. The 3 Evergreen State vessels are continuously having problems and need to be replaced.

Click here to access a list of email addresses for state senators.

House passes bill to fund 3rd ferry

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.

Update on SHB 1129 – funding for 3rd 144-car ferry

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!