Alex MacLeod is a former chair of the San Juan Ferry Advisory Committee. He recently published a guest column in the Seattle Times and the following piece which appeared in the Island Guardian and has a more local flavor. So what are potential solutions? We really need to come up with some viable alternatives. Have an idea? Post it here as a comment.
02/13/2011: “– Guest Column –”
By Alex MacLeod
It appears the time finally has come to acknowledge that the state no longer considers ferries a part of the state highway system, despite the fact that the state Constitution clearly says they are.
Larry Croix is a community columnist for the Kitsap Sun. His article, “Car ferries should be phased out,” appeared on January 19. Basically, he states that with the exception of the San Juans and Vashon, ferry routes are no longer marine highways, but have become part of the public transportation system (think bus). Croix suggests that car ferries serving Kitsap County should be phased out and replaced with passenger-only ferries. He says that passenger-only ferries could achieve 100% fare box recovery and that the state could then cover capital costs and go on operating the system. What do you think?
Norris Young Palmer added two comments to the post Ferries Built in Washington that we’d like to point out to everyone. The first is a link to the U.S.D.O.T. web page on hot topics related to marine highways. The second is an email he received from Lauren Brand, Director Office of Marine Highways & Passenger Services. WSF did not apply for Marine Highway Project funds in 2010. There will be a new round of funding in 2011. We’d certainly be interested in learning more about this source of income. Here is the link to the original post and his comments.
If anyone else has information to share, please do not hesitate to add a comment to an existing post or to complete the Ask a Question form.
The following blog post raises some interesting questions that can be related to ferries if, in fact, these routes are marine highways. We share this and a follow-up comment for your consideration…
I had been wondering why Washington ferry routes do not have the federal ‘Marine Highway’ designation which includes funding. During an interview on January 6 following her press conference, the governor stated that WSF is not eligible for federal funding because of the legislation that requires that all ferries used in Washington be built in Washington. It seems that this would be another reason to change this law, particularly now that Todd Shipyards has been sold to an out-of-state company. Does anyone know any more about this?