From the San Juan Islander:
“Ferries: Good news and bad news
“The San Juans/Anacortes ferry route will have the Samish, Washington State ferries newest boat, beginning on the summer schedule. The boat could begin service earlier depending on when it finishes up its sea trials.
“Tentatively scheduled for May 20 is an opportunity for the public to tour the Samish while it is tied up at the Anacortes terminal. More information will be posted as soon as it becomes available.
“Now the bad news. The Sealth, which carries 50 fewer passengers than a Super Class ferry, is now in service on the Friday Harbor to Anacortes route and will remain so until June 13. This means 200 less spaces from Anacortes to Friday Harbor each day (6:20, 9:30 a.m. and 2:40, 6 p.m. sailings) during the spring schedule which includes six weeks of the peak season May 1-June 13.
“Capacity is also reduced 200 spaces on sailings from Friday Harbor to Anacortes (8:05, 11:05 a.m. and 4:15, 7:45 p.m.)”
On Monday, Rep. Larry Seaquist introduced House Bill 2759, designed to modify the way that new ferries are bid and constructed. The full the text of the bill is available here.
Here is KIRO’s story on the introduction of the bill: New plan to save millions of dollars when building next state ferry
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